The Paris Masters, a top-tier Masters 1000 tournament on the men’s ATP tennis calendar, will move from its longstanding home in Paris to a new venue next year to boost the tournament’s caliber.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT) governing body announced today that the tournament, which is one of nine top-tier events on the tour, will move from its traditional home at the Bercy Arena, also known as Accor Arena for sponsorship reasons, to the larger La Défense Arena in Paris – which will increase the competition’s spectator capacity from 16,800 to 23,000.
The change has been made so the tournament can adhere to the new ATP standards for 1000 Masters events in terms of size, reception capacity, and competition format.
FFT president Gilles Moretton said: “This is a major strategic decision for the Rolex Paris Masters.
“It is one of the ATP’s most prestigious tournaments, and we are proud that over the years it has become a key event on the French and international tennis scene.
“We would like to applaud and thank the Accor Arena and its staff, with whom we have written some of the most memorable pages in tennis history at Bercy. It was vital for us to continue making this tournament a highlight for all tennis fans.
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“By moving to the Paris La Défense Arena, we will fulfill our ambitions by offering our athletes and spectators an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
This year’s edition, the last to be held at Bercy Arena, will run from October 28 to Nov 3.
The move comes after the current venue’s smaller courts and late finishes were criticized by players last year, with this year’s Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner pulling out of the competition and criticizing organizers for failing to give him enough time to rest between matches.
At the time, Sinner had finished a match at 3am and was only given 12 hours to recover before playing again. His complaint was supported by several other players.
Along with the venue change, which will feature bigger and modernized courts, the format of the competition will also change from four daytime matches and two evening sessions to three daytime and two evening matches to avoid matches starting too late.
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “France is a key nation for professional tennis and today’s announcement further strengthens one of our biggest events on the ATP Tour.
“We are continually looking for opportunities for our tournaments to grow, and to provide better experiences for our players, and most importantly the fans.
“The move to Paris La Défense Arena is excellent news for the FFT and the Rolex Paris Masters, which will be able to continue to thrive on the international scene.”
France Televisions, the French public-service broadcaster, holds domestic free-to-air rights to the tournament in a deal running from 2024 to 2028 struck last October, which also includes the rights to the Monte Carlo Masters.
France Televisions replaced pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus, which aired both domestic tournaments on C8, its FTA digital terrestrial channel, until this year.
Main rights for the ATP tennis tournaments in France, including for the two French Masters, are currently held by media giant Warner Bros. Discovery, which shows events via its Eurosport pan-European broadcaster.
That deal, which starts this 2024 and runs through 2026, was struck with ATP Media, the media arm of the ATP Tour, and includes nine top-tier Masters 1000 events, as well as 13 second-tier ATP 500 and 33 third-tier ATP 250 tournaments, as well as the season-ending ATP Finals.
That deal built on WBD’s previous contract with the ATP covering the 2019 to 2023 cycle, worth €11 million ($11.8 million) per year.
UK-based live broadcast facilities provider Gravity Media delivers the global coverage of the ATP’s tournaments, including the top-tier ATP Masters 1000s, second-tier ATP 500s, and third-tier ATP 250s, as well as the ATP Finals.