LYON, November 25, 2016
The city of Lyon is going to replace the Open Nice Cote d’Azur, an ATP 250 tournament held one week ahed of the French Open in Paris. The inaugural edition, named “Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon”, will be played from 20 to 27 May 2017 in the same week as of the Geneva Open, which is only about 150 kilometres away. A centre court with a capacity of about 4,000 seats will be built in the heart of the velodrome of the park of Tête d’or.
“We will be the tournament’s first partner. Our investment will be about 20% of the budget of the event,” said Laurent Wauquiez, President of the region located in east-central France at a press conference earlier this month.
“This tournament will be in the top 5 of the biggest French tournaments and will be a showcase of the economic dynamism of the region. It is not just a communication action, we want to foster tennis in the entire region.”
Thierry Ascione, coach of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, is in charge of the tournament. The latter will be the ambassador of the ATP 250 event and will of course be present. Former Nice tournament director Jean François Caujolle (Pampelonne), Gaetan Muller (agent of Tsonga) and Pascal Biojout (Sport Plus Consulting) will work closely together to make the event a success.
The ATP event in Nice disappears from the calendar for the first time since 2010. The event did not take place also from 1996 to 2009. The main reason of the relocation is given by the fact that the current club hosting the event cannot be expanded.
The ATP World Tour returns to Lyon for the first time since 2009 when the 23rd and last edition of the Tennis Grand Prix Lyon took place indoors at the Palais des Sports de Gerland in October.
With the €64,000 Open Sopra Steria, the city of Lyon also hosts an ATP Challenger Tour event. The clay court tournament takes place from 12 to 18 June 2017 at the Tennis Club Lyon.