INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA -- Due to health concerns, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not be held at this time.
The tournament announced on Sunday on social media that the year's first Premier Mandatory event will not start the week of March 9th after a coronavirus (COVID-19) case was detected locally.
The event made the decision after following the guidance of medical professionals in an effort to keep participants and attendees safe.
In a statement on the event website, the tournament said:
The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) locally. As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California.
“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
“We appreciate the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety,” said Martin Massiello, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Eisenhower Health.
“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” said Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
Any patron who has purchased tickets directly from the tournament may request a refund for the 2020 tournament, or a credit for the 2021 tournament. Patrons should click the button below to request a refund or credit.
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO, made the following statement on the 2020 BNP Paribas Open not being held:
"First and foremost, there isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers and fans who attend our events. Based on the medical advice received on March 8, it is with regret that the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not be held as scheduled this March. The WTA empathizes with those affected by the coronavirus in this region and around the world. We are disappointed our fans will not be able to come out and watch the event, and our players are also disappointed to not compete over the next two weeks, along with the sponsors who support the event. However, we understand the decision which has been made in the interest of public health and safety which is the top priority at this time. It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first."