New tennis stadium in Rome opened for presentation
A new 10,500-seat tennis stadium for the Italian Open was presented Wednesday, less then a month before this year's tournament.
Built and operated by the Italian Olympic Committee, the ?28.5 million ($38.4 million) facility is the centerpiece of the tournament's plans to host a combined men's and women's event starting next year.
While there is still some last-minute work to be done, the first matches in the new stadium are slated for this year's Rome Masters, with the official inauguration scheduled for Day 3 of the tournament on April 27.
Built on the same site as the former stadium at the Foro Italico, the still unnamed facility has an intimate feel, with tournament director Sergio Palmieri labeling it ``the premier tennis stadium in the world in terms of visibility for fans.''
``There's no point in having a 20,000-seat stadium if 10,000 people can't see the court,'' Palmieri added.
The ATP requires its Masters Series tournaments to have stadiums with at least 10,200 seats.
CONI has left open the option of adding a retractable roof to the stadium.