The Roger Federer effect: French Open breaks record attendance

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The Roger Federer effect: French Open breaks record attendance

In a conference call the French Open Tournament Director Guy Forget shared the impressive numbers behind the 2019 edition. Roger Federer played for the first time since 2015. "In terms of figures and audience, it's something that you often mention in your articles or magazines.

We have beaten our record with Simonne Mathieu court. We had a record participation of 520,000 spectators", announced Forget. "We have exceeded the half-million threshold on which we stopped over the past years, and the tournament was sold out as of the first day of the opening of the ticket sales.

In terms of broadcasters, for France 2, we had, on average, 1.3 million telespectators, 15.6% of share. The highest peak was in the match between Benoit Paire and Nishikori, 3.9 million telespectators on France 3. And EuroSport also had extremely positive figures, increasing with respect to last year.

Also, the good performance of China, they were 63 million watching Roland Garros at a single minute. It shows the potential of the Chinese audience. In terms of digital platforms, the figures are there, too. We have more than 5 million single visitors on, and 25 million active users of our App Roland Garros who have followed the tournament with a score which is very high, 4.3 stars on the stores.

Although I'm not an expert, it's a very good score. In terms of spectators, they were always present in front of the screens in the stadium. I want to talk about it here. On the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen, we had the problem of the loges that are empty.

It's not something which is new. It's something on which we have been working for the past years. Today, in particular with our partners, we are trying, as of next year, to find new means to fill up these loges that are empty sometimes.

At some times, economically speaking, we cannot allow us to refuse these partners and sometimes these people who pay a more expensive ticket, who consume tennis in a different way as in the past and have difficulty in spending eight to nine hours sitting on the chair.

That's why we will try to do with our partners the sort of overbooking as in the hotels or in the airline companies in order to have some of their clients in the first part, and then a second batch of people coming afterwards following the lunch.

But we are aware that we have to go further in that direction to avoid what we see today. And I remind you that the tournaments as US Open or other tournaments of the tour are facing these same issues. I'm sure that you will ask questions about that.

To conclude, I would like to say this 2019 edition has been a success, fantastic, as said by the chair, owing to the challenges and the race against the clock with these huge works that have been made on the Roland Garros stadium."