Small Move Makes Big Difference For Atlanta Venue
The BB&T Atlanta Open did not move very far — shifting only across the street to a different plot of land — but the ATP 250 tournament has succeeded at its new location at Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta.
“It’s nice. 2016 was definitely my favourite Stadium Court, but this one’s really cool. I think it’s probably more fan friendly just because it’s so hot. The indoor seating, the covered shaded area I think is a lot better for the fans. We had a pretty good crowd out there today and I think the stadium has a lot to do with that,” said semi-finalist Reilly Opelka. “From that standpoint, I’d rather have more people there than not. But I don’t know, something about that court in 2016, I thought that was the coolest court I’ve ever played on.”
Tournament Director Eddie Gonalez is happy with the improvements and how players and fans alike have reacted to them. Players have been around the grounds throughout the week for autograph signings, Q&As with Wayne Bryan and much more. On Monday, Nick Kyrgios even played basketball with a Harlem Globetrotter and some fans out on the site.
“We’ve gone from two acres to five, we have more shade, more air conditioning and more fan activation areas. We want to be known as being player friendly, fan friendly and sponsor friendly, and we feel like we’ve accomplished this in year one,” Gonzalez said. “It’ll be even better next year because we’re going to learn a lot this year, but we’re off to a great start.”
Five-time champion John Isner, who triumphed last week in Newport, lost in his opening match against Opelka. But the American was happy with how the upgraded site looked.
“The stadium court looks really cool,” Isner said. “It’s not in a completely different location, so I think it’s a good thing, switching it up. Where we played last year wasn’t the same as when it first moved to Atlantic Station and I think they’ve made some improvements to the stadium and it looks very good.”