French Open likely to have 35 percent of usual crowds when play starts

French Open likely to have 35 percent of usual crowds when play starts

The tournament, which also plans to have night sessions for the first time, cannot start them during the first week because of the city's 9 p.m. curfew.

Roland Garros has received tentative guidance from the government of France that it can start with 35 percent of its usual capacity, up to 1,000 spectators per court. Those were the figures given by Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister for Education and Sport during an interview with TV station France 3, with an indication this could be increased during the final five days of the event.

According to the government's timetable for loosening restrictions, that is when stadiums will be allowed to have 65 percent capacity—up to 5,000 spectators. "So we will get the stadiums quite full," said Blanquer, who also suggested further exceptions could be allowed for the French Open.

''At the moment that's the general rule... There are still a series of points to be decided."

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There are three show courts at Roland Garros: Court Philippe Chatrier stadium with around 15,000 capacity, Court Suzanne Lenglen with around 10,000 capacity and the newest, Court Simone Mathieu with around 5,000 capacity.

The tournament, which also plans to have night sessions for the first time, cannot start them during the first week because of the city's 9 p.m. curfew. But the move to an 11 p.m. curfew during the second week, along with an exception given to the tournament, would potentially allow night sessions from the quarterfinals onwards.

The clay-court Slam has been pushed back a week by the French tennis federation (FFT) in order to potentially have larger crowds as restrictions are lifted following a four-week lockdown. In 2020, the event was delayed four months and only allowed 1,000 spectators each day.The FFT has indicated that the various restrictions produced a 43 percent drop in earnings.

No official figures for spectator capacity have been announced by organizers.