Australian Open sets record attendance.Prize money is still a question mark

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Australian Open sets record attendance.Prize money is still a question mark

The 2018 edition has been a memorable one for the Australian Open. 743,667 attended the three-week event (including qualies), breaking the previous record attendance set in 2017, 728,763. For the second time in the tournament’s history, after 2017, more than 500,000 fans attended the first week, 505,443.

The "busiest" day was Saturday 20 with more than 87,000 fans between day and night. The tournament director Craig Tiley stressed the importance of bringing improvements and new things to the event: 'We've doubled the amount of music and tripled the amount of food offerings.

Tripled the number of entertainment offerings in the kids' ballpark zone and garden square. Kids (under 14) are five dollars to get into the grounds. If you're a family and bringing the kids, that's a pretty good entertainment experience for 12 hours.

You're not paying for a movie for two hours or a show for an hour and a half when you pay more. For $49, you can plonk yourself down on a seat and you're guaranteed to see tennis', Tiley said. There were several problems for the 'Happy Slam' during the main draw matches, especially players asking for an higher prize money.

The current one is equivalent to $44 US million dollars, the lowest along with Roland Garros among Grand Slams, although the Parisian event will increase it again in May. Improving it by a lot would mean to increase tickets value: 'I've seen this argument before – rich players asking for more money so a tournament has got to charge higher prices to pay rich players.

It's not right', Tiley said. 'We're turning (the Open) into an experience that can be affordable for anyone. And premium for anyone.' But if incomes got bigger - from 205 US million dollars in 2015 to 259 in 2017 - why not increasing prize money by far?