STARNBERG, November 9, 2023 (Press Release)
The ATP Tour announced on Wednesday that beginning in 2025 the number of ATP 500 events on the tour calendar will be increased from 13 to 16 tournaments. Along with the existing 250-Series events in Doha and Dallas, the prestigious BMW Open in Munich will also receive an upgrade.
This was made possible by merging the two ATP 250 licenses from Munich and Lyon. The Lyon license is owned by Florian Leitgeb, tournament director of the ATP Challenger Tour events in Tulln and Mauthausen, as well as CEO of the Champ Events AG in Austria.
In an interview, Leitgeb explained his decision and the plans for the BMW Open in Munich.
How did this upgrade come about?
Florian Leitgeb: The ATP aims to streamline the tournament calendar, leading to the removal of certain 250-Series events. This included the unique offer to merge two ATP 250 licenses into a 500-Series event. Lyon, and thus my 250-Series license, will disappear from the calendar in 2025, and following my previously established contractual cooperation with Munich, the BMW Open will now continue as a 500-Series event at its regular April date.
What convinced you to go ahead with this “fusion”?
I’m involved because I believe our combination creates a truly exciting package, and a 500-Series event of this kind, at this location, has a great future. As an entrepreneur, I am particularly interested in projects with long-term prospects.
Who is the other partner or license holder?
The owner of Munich’s current 250-Series license, MTTC Iphitos, where the tournament will continue to take place. Interestingly, international matches have been played there for over 100 years.
What changes for the prestigious BMW Open?
Essentially, everything changes because it will take place in an entirely different league than before. It’s not just a matter of adding a few extra seats here and there; significant upgrades are planned, including the construction of a new Center Court with a retractable roof.
How much prize money will the ATP 500 event offer?
To provide a recent comparison, the 2023 BMW Open had a total prize pool of 560,000 Euros, while the winner of the Vienna 500-Series event, Daniil Medvedev, earned 490,000 Euros. According to the ATP website, a total of around 2.5 million Euros in prize money was distributed. We will be operating within a similar range in Munich.
Are other Austrians involved in this project?
Currently, I am the only one, but intensive negotiations are underway with new partners, suppliers, and potential employees. It’s quite possible that others may join in the future.
Will your involvement in Munich affect your other tournaments?
Specifically, for our Challenger event in Mauthausen, which currently takes place just two weeks after the BMW Open, it means that my team at Champ Events Austria will have to take on much more work in the lead-up than before. However, I am very confident that we will manage it successfully.
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