“We approached it with great respect and the tournament exceeded expectations,” says Roger Brennwald about the Swiss Indoors 2022.
For two years no more yellow felt balls flew over the net in Basel’s St. Jakobshalle. Now founder Roger Brennwald is very satisfied with the comeback and anniversary tournament. “We approached it with great respect and the tournament exceeded expectations.”
67,100 tennis fans made a pilgrimage to the city on the Rhine last week to watch Stan Wawrinka, Carlos Alcaraz and Co. The viewership thus reached about the level of the previous editions.
The contract with the event hall expires next year. Will the Swiss Indoors be in Basel for the 52nd and last time? One thing is clear: other locations such as Geneva or Zurich were flirted with.
“Halle is predestined for a continuation”
“We think that this hall is predestined for a continuation – there is no question about that. We are at home here and that means Basel is an advantage,” says Brennwald. But the 76-year-old warns with the next breath: “But that doesn’t mean that the next ten years are set in stone. Being able to hold your own against all these cosmopolitan cities in Basel is no walk in the park.”
One of the problems is the hall rent, which is CHF 700,000. A new contract is being negotiated, but the tournament and the city administration have not yet been able to find each other.
And yet both parties have a great interest in sticking with the Basel location. «The Swiss Indoors are very important for the region. We support the tournament as a canton, among other things, with advantageous rental conditions and with a marketing commitment decided by the Grand Council,” said Simon Thiriet, head of communications for the city of Basel, in the summer of the NZZ.
Not only the tournament would have to rein in
A possible move would also have an impact on the “Paradise” tennis center in Allschwil. The hall – right below the tournament offices – is used to promote juniors and also as a training ground for the stars during the Swiss Indoors.
Looking ahead, the question naturally arises as to how the number of viewers will develop in the coming years. Because this year, advance sales benefited on the one hand from the still valid tickets for the canceled 2020 and 2021 editions. On the other hand, Roger Federer’s fans rushed to get in early – with the dream of seeing the maestro on the court again.
Generation change is progressing
2022 has shown: The generation change is progressing – and this time really. In addition to Alcaraz, Lorenzo Musetti, Jack Draper and the two finalists Holger Rune and Félix Auger-Aliassime, who delivered a great tennis show, also caught the eye in Basel.
From a Swiss point of view, Stan Wawrinka’s run is of course the big story to which Brennwald “takes his hat off”. Dominic Stricker also knew how to impress with his start win and qualification for the NextGen finals. Brennwald summarizes: “What the new generation offers is motivation enough to continue.”