A year ago, the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the Volvo Car Open, the WTA Tour's annual stop in Charleston and the largest women-only pro tennis tournament in North America.
This year, the ongoing COVID-19 problems mean there will be no spectators at the Daniel Island tournament, which is set for April 3-11.
Tournament director Bob Moran said Feb. 4 that the Volvo Car Open will become a "made-for-TV" event in 2021. Fans who already have purchased tickets can receive refunds.
“After much deliberation, our team has made the difficult but necessary decision to host the 2021 Volvo Car Open without fans,” said Moran. “We delayed this decision as long as we possibly could in hopes that the end result may be different.
"But, in order to successfully execute a fan experience that complies with all guidelines and requirements given by local government and health officials, we would need to begin building our event facilities this week. Unfortunately, with the ongoing high positivity numbers and the potential of unknown restrictions on travel to the U.S., we have concluded that the creation of a made-for-TV tournament is the best possible outcome for the 2021 Volvo Car Open.”
Both Tennis Channel and WTA Media have agreed to broadcast the 2021 Volvo Car Open, providing a full week of coverage for fans both in the U.S. and abroad.
The tournament is working with the WTA and the Medical University of South Carolina on the development of health and safety protocols for the event.
Charleston Tennis, LLC, which manages the Volvo Car Stadium under a lease from the City of Charleston, recently announced plans to renovate and modernize the 20-year-old Volvo Car Stadium at LTP Daniel Island. The city-owned facility will undergo upgrades to enhance the stadium experience for patrons, performers, tennis players and event management.
“Although we are disappointed by our recent event updates, we are already looking ahead to the future”, said Moran. “We are making great progress with the Volvo Car Stadium renovations and are excited to unveil this reimagined space at the celebration of our 50th tennis event in 2022. Our upgraded venue will continue to provide unforgettable entertainment experiences with new state-of-the-art features and elevated patron services.”