The fate of the Miami Open tennis tournament seemed highly questionable following the abrupt cancellation of the sport’s prestigious BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Despite nationwide concerns over the coronavirus spread and live events folding for safety measures, the high-profile tournament says it will go on as planned.
“The 2020 Miami Open is moving forward as scheduled, March 23-April 5,” reads a statement shared on the tournament’s Twitter account. “Safety remains a top priority, and we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely with local, state and federal officials and health organizations in the lead up to the tournament. In addition, we are working with the ATP and WTA tours on recommended best practices and following CDC guidelines closely to provide a safe environment for fans, players and staff.”
Statement from the Miami Open. pic.twitter.com/kj6aDOmMwV
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 9, 2020
Organizers released the statement shortly after the BNP Paribas Open announced its 2020 cancellation, leaving fans and players alike rattled. The prestigious tournament, often thought of as the fifth Grand Slam in tennis, became the first major U.S. sporting event to be called off amid the coronavirus outbreak. The BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open are held back-to-back each March, and have become known collectively as the “Sunshine Double.”
WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon released a statement regarding the news out of Indian Wells that left many wondering whether the Miami Open would take place.
“It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow,” he said. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first.”
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi echoed Simon’s thoughts in a statement released Monday.
“While we regret that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will not take place, the ATP Tour calendar beyond Indian Wells remains as status quo,” Gaudenzi said. “We continue to monitor the situation daily, working closely with our player and tournament members with the understanding that direction must be taken from local public health authorities. We are committed to exploring all options for the operation of upcoming tournaments as the health and safety of our players and all other stakeholders remain our top priority.”
The city of Miami has already called for cancellations of this month’s Calle Ocho Festival and Ultra Music Festival, the latter of which was scheduled to take place right before the Miami Open begins play at Hard Rock Stadium. Officials had initially promised that the EDM festival would go on as planned before reversing the decision days later.
Stay tuned here for the latest updates on the Miami Open and other live event changes due to the coronavirus.