Several themes characterized the press conference that closed the Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2023: a thought to the population of Emilia-Romagna, who were hit by a disastrous flood, the analysis of numbers from this historic upgraded edition of the tournament, and the announcement that by 2026, the Campo Centrale will be completed renovated, including a roof. During the press conference held in the Players’ Lounge, Angelo Binaghi, president of the Federazoine Italiana Tennis e Padel, and Vito Cozzoli, president and CEO of Sport e Salute, intervened.
““We have been astounded by the adverse weather conditions that we faced in Rome this year, but this is nothing compared to the tragic events that hit the population of Emilia-Romagna.” Those were the opening words of Binaghi at the beginning of the press conference: “As the Federation, we will try to do our part: people from the areas hit by the flood will be refunded for all tickets bought for and unused from Thursday to Sunday. Additionally, we will intervene in unprecedented and more conspicuous ways, giving financial aid and support to all our sports societies whose facilities were damaged, in accordance with the list of municipalities affected by natural disasters as published by the Government”.”.
SUCCESSFUL NUMBERS – With more than 50 countries and 220 territories reached across the world, the 80th edition of the IBI received a widespread coverage, achieving great results outside of the courts. Such successful edition increased the expectations and the future prospectives of a tournament that is de-facto amongst the most important tennis tournaments of both tours. This is also thanks to its unique location, which was enlarged and refurbished this season, making it a more welcoming place.
The study conducted by “Ernst&Young” underlines incredible numbers: all the indicators had a positive sign at the end of the tournament. Last year’s sold tickets were 235.469, this year 298.000, while the proceeds amounted to 22,5 million Euros (+1.312% compared to 2003).
26 % of spectators came from abroad, 20% were local Romans and the remaining 54% from the rest of the country. These numbers contributed to an economic impact of almost half a billion Euros (exactly 490,7 million Euros: 220,4 of which as direct, 184,6 indirect and 85,7 satellite): an astonishing data given that it was achieved without the usage of public funds and it was obviously undermined by the impact of the unfavourable weather.
““We have to thank the ATP and WTA that believed in us and in our joint-venture with Sport e Salute,” – went on the FITP n°1– . We exploited the great opportunity we have been given. A warm ‘thank you’ also goes to the City of Rome, its mayor Gualtieri and the council member for ‘Grandi Eventi, Sport, Turismo e Moda’ (Major Events, Sports, Tourism and Fashion) Onorato. We have worked closely with both, and they supported us constantly. This year, like never before, the IBI were an integral part of the Capital. I want to thank the crowd too, especially for the sold-out day of yesterday, despite it being the most expensive day and without Italians on court. This is a clear sign of their passion for tennis. Finally, I want to thank the players: we had a tournament of extraordinary level and I believe they were satisfied by the way they were welcomed, thanks to the investments done, such as the new Players’ Lounge, where we currently sit for this final press conference.”.
A ROOF FOR THE STADIO CENTRALE – “First of all, I cannot but join President Binaghi in showing my solidarity to the people of Emilia-Romagna following the latest tragic happenings,” – said President and CEO of Sport e Salute Vito Cozzoli: Concerning the tournament, this was a new edition, with a new formula and plenty novelties. The venue went from 95 to 125 thousand square metres. It was an extraordinary job, made possible by the synergy between Sport e Salute and FITP. President Binaghi and I took this duty last November and we accomplished all parts of it, even with such unfavourable weather. The credits given by ATP and WTA are a proof of the quality result. Now, by looking at the future, our tasks cannot be considered over. We have vastly refurbished the gorgeous site of the Parco del Foro Italico, a venue that the whole world envies us. Soon the Campo Centrale will have its roof, so that no more top matches will be forced to suspensions due to rain. The feasibility study has been granted. It is a futuristic project that will offer the city of Rome an arena that can be attractive world-wide and year-long, to host sports and non-sports events, nationally and internationally”.
The new roof will make the Campo Centrale the living heart of the Parco del Foro Italico. With an attentive evaluation of its social and environmental impact, focus will be on sustainability. The project sees the building of a structure that blends perfectly with the landscape and the nature surrounding the monumental complex of the capital.
“Soon the bureaucratic journey will start” – explained Cozzoli – “but within 6 months we will have the executive project. The construction site will last for about two years, but it will not impact the course of the tournament in its natural site. The Campo Centrale will have its roof by 2026.””.
The words of Elena Goitini, CEO of BNL and Responsible for BNL Paribas in Italy expressed her satisfaction: “The 2023 edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia represents a new beginning for us: we have renewed our partnership with FITP until 2028. After 18 years together, our shared journey continues in supporting this tournament. We decided to back Padel too, in order to be close to this up-and-coming sport that proved to be more and more widespread. We are particularly proud of standing next to the Federation in the journey that will give equal prize money for men and women players. Talent is not a matter of gender. This is coming on the year of the 50th anniversary of BNP Paribas group starting its collaboration with international tennis.”.
DIGITAL REPORT: SOCIAL, APP AND WEB ON A HIGH – The data collected from all social is also in line with all others and shows the success of the tournament. The analysis of Internazionali BNL d’Italia social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok) marked a +53,2% of views compared to last year (72,5 million in total). The engagement also was record-breaking with a +75% compared to 2022 (3,5 million). The growth of followers also went up with a 14,9% increase. The official IBI website also kept growing, showing amazing figures, including +56,4% views compared to 2022 and a total of 6,2 million views and 531 thousand unique users (+91,5% compared to last year). The tournament’s APP also got a fair share of new downloads (+35%).