US Open to be played without fans

After top ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus, U.S. Open Director Stacy Allaster discussed the plan to mitigate risk for the players’ safety.
6:10 | 06/23/20

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Transcript for US Open to be played without fans
We turn now to some alarming news we're getting out of the world of sports. Novak Djokovic, the men's world number one tennis player has now tested positive for covid-19. This news comes a just week after New York governor Cuomo gave an all-clear for the U.S. Open to be held in New York. Joining us now is U.S. Open tournament director Stacey allaster. Thank you so much for being here. What's your reaction, the number one in the world has now tested positive. Good morning, T.J. I must say it's a heavy heart that we learned the news that Novak and yesterday, other athletes involved in the Adria tour, we certainly watched over the last ten days or so with concern as to how they were returning to play. And I think really what it does for all of us today at the usa validates the months of work that we put into the development of our plan that is deep with medical experts and rigor about how we go about returning to work. The only way to do this is with a clear health and safety plan. And we know you have that plan. There won't be spectators. But you had some athletes, including Djokovic actually, who have expressed some concern and some other top players about putting the tournament on, how many people they would be allowed to bring with them. A coach, a significant other, a trainer, they'll be allowed one person. What level of confidence do you have that you'll be able to get the top players committed to coming to play? T.J., we've got a lot of feedback from athletes that a lot of them want to come back to play. They are concerned about their health and their well-being. We have built the plan as that being the foundation to give us confidence to proceed, again as approved by New York state officials. And this next 55 days until we open the doors at the usa Billie Jean king national tennis center, will be ongoing journey with the athletes, dialogue, maybe some further evolution of the plan to ensure they feel comfortable. And look, at the end of the day, our athletes are independent contractors, and they'll ultimately decide whether or not they feel comfortable enough to come to New York and I -- again, we wouldn't be proceeding right now based on what we know today, based on everything that governor Cuomo and all of the first responders have done to bring this pandemic under control. Do you have to proceed this year, given where we are? Why do you have to put the tournament on? I know they want to get back to playing, but given where we are and also the question is, is this about money? What's the financial impact if you do not put on the U.S. Open this year? Look, we sort of embarked upon the journey with three fundamental principles. The first one was, can we stage the U.S. Open and western & southern open, an event that's usually played in Cincinnati, in a centralized model like the other leagues are considering and doing it in a way that mitigates risk and provides this healthy and safe environment for all. The fans want the athletes to come back. It's part of our society. It's an industry. Is it good for the tennis economy? Lot of people went back to work on Wednesday when we announced, and ultimately, it's a good opportunity for us to be able to promote the sport, on the basis, T.J., that it's safe. What we know today, we have that confidence. All right, Stacey, I did you hear you say, significant financial impact, how significant are we talking? T.J., we're looking at approximately a 60% reduction in our revenues. The number one source of revenue for the U.S. Open is in fact our very loyal ticket buyers and corporate hospitality partners. We'll miss them on site. We do, though, have million of fans that will turn into the greatest show in sports, the U.S. Open. What happens if a player tests positive while this tournament is going on? If someone does test positive, they'll be isolated in our centralized hotel. We have world-class medical officials led by our partnership with mt. Sinai. Another test will happen 24 hours thereafter and then the doctors will make the determination on the care for that athlete. The other important piece to the plan is, just how we keep the athletes centralized, some call it a bubble, I like to call it the tier. We'll have three tiers. One tier, all those interacting with the players. We'll all be screened daily. We'll be tested on a regular basis the same way. We'll be physically distanced throughout the grounds, throughout the hotel and we'll all be wearing ppe. Stacey allaster, I think a lot of sports fans, certainly tennis fans are hoping you can pull this off. Good luck to you. Congratulations to you as well. Tournament director, the first woman to be tournament director of the U.S. Open in its 140-year history. Congratulations to you on that. Good luck. So good to see you. Thank you, T.J.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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