Davis Cup organisers admit challenges over tickets for revamped competition
By Robbie Robinson
Last Updated: 05/11/19 3:44pm
Davis Cup organisers admit selling tickets for the revamped competition is proving a challenge with less than two weeks to go.
The disappointing sales come despite countries naming strong teams, which was the main objective of the change of format.
- Federer, Djokovic to clash at ATP Finals
- Nadal hopes to be fit for ATP Finals
- Are ATP Finals ill-timed for Nadal?
Six of the top 10 will be in Madrid, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray will also be representing Britain for the first time in three years.
Pique keen on expanding Davis Cup
Gerard Pique has revealed he wants to expand the Davis Cup finals to a two-week event featuring 24 teams.
Eighteen national teams will head to Madrid for the first edition of the week-long, World Cup-style event, which begins on November 18.
Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique's Kosmos company is the financial muscle behind the event having pledged to invest $3bn (£2.3bn) over 25 years.
But efforts to recoup some of that money through strong ticket sales are proving problematic.
A spokeswoman for Kosmos said: "We are happy with ticket sales for the afternoon sessions and from Friday until Sunday [quarter-finals, semi-finals and final] but it's much more difficult to sell tickets for morning sessions, as happens in all tournaments.
"We are working with the 17 embassies in Spain in order to reach international communities living in Spain."
The new format, which has largely replaced the traditional home-and-away fixtures, was controversially approved at last year's International Tennis Federation AGM despite vociferous opposition from a number of current and former players, officials and fans
The good news for organisers is that both of Spain's group ties, against Russia and the cup holders Croatia, have sold out the main arena, which seats more than 12,000 spectators.
But, behind the host nation, Great Britain's total of 3,000 tickets sold to fans for their clashes with the Netherlands on November 20 and Kazakhstan the following day is the most for any country.
Of the 25 sessions across the three arenas, ticket sales have only reached 50 per cent for nine of them, although a further five are close.