INDIAN WELLS (CBSLA) — The 2020 BNP Paribas Open has been cancelled due to concerns about the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus, organizers announced Sunday.
The Riverside County Public Health Department earlier Sunday declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after confirming a locally acquired case of the virus, also known as COVID-19.
The announcement prompted organizers of the tennis tournament, scheduled to begin Monday, to reassess the potential risks of moving forward.
“As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California,” a statement on the event’s website read in part.
“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
Martin Massiello, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Eisenhower Health, said the organization appreciated “the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety.”
Tournament Director Tommy Haas said he was disappointed by the decision but noted public health and safety was of “paramount importance.”
Anyone who has purchased tickets directly from the tournament may request a refund for the 2020 tournament, or a credit for the 2021 tournament via the organization’s website.