The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 2017 Lagos Governor’s Cup Tennis competition on Tuesday ruled that fans coming to watch the annual prestigious event will have to pay to get access to daily actions.
The new development is a clear departure from the old order which encourages all comers into the arena for the ITF sanctioned tournament at no cost to the fans.
At a crowded press conference Tuesdsay, the Tournament Director, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, explained that with many top players from around the world taking part in the tournament, “it is fair enough to have people pay to watch them in action.”
Oladunjoye, clarified that tennis enthusiasts need to buy tickets for a minimum of N1,500 for popular seat and a maximum of N5,000 for the VIP seat.
“We can’t be watching the best players play without paying to watch them. We have to start the option of making people pay before watching. We must have some level of payment for entertainment.
“We must pay for the talents that we want to watch. What we are starting now is not a full tickets fee, we want to start with a segment. We will still invite people and give them tickets, but we have to start somehow.
“Some people want to pay but they don’t know how to pay. It doesn’t matter if we end up with a scanty arena but what is certain is that we have to start from somewhere,” he asserted on Tuesday.
The organisers of the tennis fiesta said tickets for the $100,000 prize money tournament are available at the rates of N1,500 for regulars and N5,000 for VIPs on the platforms of Ariya Tickets and Naija Tickets Shop.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Ifedayo Akindoju, has listed the gains of the annual Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship.
The NTF President who spoke at the press briefing to herald the commencement of this year’s competition, noted that the tournament is already exposing the Lagos to the world with the caliber and number of players who come into the country every year.
He encouraged the journalists on ground to ensure they give the tournament a wide coverage and project the country in a positive light.
“These Futures 4 and 5 are the only ones that combine both male and female players in Nigeria having done the 1, 2 and 3 early in the year.
“I encourage the media personnel to advertise this sport and let the world know that there is tennis in Nigeria.
“Report the tournament to project Nigeria in a very positive light. There are a lot of gains from this tournament.
“Over 500 players coming here for the tournament means that we are moving the world to Lagos,” concludes the new NTF chief.