BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is likely to be canceled in 2021. The tournament was also canceled in 2020, and the tennis tour came to a halt for several months immediately after last year’s tournament was canceled.
As the Covid-19 cases rise around the world, it is becoming difficult to organize a tournament with players coming from dozens of countries. Local regulations are also unlikely to allow the tournament to go on.
The advance cancellation of the tournament, typically held in early March, has raised a few eyebrows. The thought in some quarters is that the tournament should have waited until after the new year to make the decision.
Indian Wells’ decision also makes it likely that the Miami Open, which follows Indian Wells, will also be canceled, though no announcement has been made by the tournament.
The cancellation news not only throws the tennis calendar into disarray, but it also has a huge impact on the local economy. A 2017 study by the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau showed the economic impact of the tournament to local businesses was around $400 million. The total economic impact of canceling the tournament for two years is over $800 million.
BNP Paribas Open is owned by billionaire Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle. Reports have suggested that any profit or loss from the tournament does not go Ellison but it stays within the coffers of the tournament.