223,583 spectators in total attended ATP/WTA Rome event this year, which is an attendance record, 19,000 more than last year (204,000), and 47% more than 2011 (151,000). Still, Madrid event does better as 260,000 people attended it this year, according to what the tournament tweeted last week.
However the Italian tennis federation chief Angelo Binaghi is not so sure about these numbers: 'I rarely see the grounds packed there. Our numbers are official. I don't want to argue, but our data is real. They have a higher prize money? They also have a bigger part of TV rights than us...'.
About building a retractable roof, Binaghi didn't want to set a date for when it will be built.
He was instead optimistic about having a new ATP 250 event in the southern of Italy, after that NextGen ATP Finals will be played for the next five years in Milan. 'We have the chance to take an ATP 250 that could be Naples.
I think the southern of Italy can be the centre of our federal centre where the best young players can train.'
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