Olympics, Andy Murray Push London Tennis Finals to Record Sales
Eleven of the 15 sessions for the championship, to be played Nov. 5-12 at London’s O2 Arena, have sold out. The event is about 6,000 tickets away from selling all 262,000 seats for the first time since moving to the British capital from Shanghai in 2009, according to Chris Kermode, the tournament’s managing director.
“In times of recession, we are definitely bucking the trend,” Kermode said in an interview. “We are cautiously optimistic we’ll be very close,” to selling out.
The tournament drew a record attendance of 256,000 in its first year in London, with total crowds of 250,000 in 2010 and 2011.
The London Games were held this summer in front of sellout crowds, who saw Britain’s squad win a record 65 medals including 29 golds. Murray took the gold in the tennis tournament held at Wimbledon, before winning his first major title at the U.S. Open in September, ending a 76-year Grand Slam singles title drought for British men.
“The whole Olympic summer of sport reignited a desire to go and see live sports,” Kermode said. “Having Andy Murray here as a domestic star definitely helps. It adds that extra buzz.”
Third-ranked Murray is among the world’s top eight singles and doubles players in the event, which has $5.5 million in prize money. Switzerland’s Roger Federer won the singles title last year for a record sixth time.
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