Why is RG so fan-unfriendly? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Why is RG so fan-unfriendly?

bjurra
05-31-2008, 08:28 PM
Just returned from Roland Garros for my 3rd consecutive year and while I admire the elegance of the Roland Garros campus and enjoy the atmosphere, I can't help but feeling annoyed by how much room there is for improvement for the fans. After returning home, I read my favourite blog again and much to my satisfaction, the mystery writer summarized my feelings on RG very well.

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Mr._Chip_&_Charge

Mario Ancics coach Rosengren complained too about the organization (or lack of), claiming that French tennis tournaments were the worst in the world.

In addition to the complaints in the blog, I am really dissatisfied by the lack of big screens, the lack of scoreboards, the lack of bleechers, the lack of hot food, the lack of online tickets sales and how ineffeciently they use they space available.

At the tournament, I was approached by a volunteer who filled out customer satisfaction surveys. However, the questions were not very relevant and at no point I was asked if I had any suggestions.

Is the French Open too popular for its own good? Would they care more about fans if attendance was dropping?

Action Jackson
05-31-2008, 08:39 PM
Interesting points raised. I haven't been to RG for a lot of years.

The ticketing system is a bit of a joke, but at the same time many people want to go there, more than the venue can hold.

It's a corporate event and they don't care about the punters that go to these things.

The Aus Open is the most fan friendly and they have to lift their game when it comes to the facilities.

bjurra
05-31-2008, 08:44 PM
The AO is super because they know they can't fill their venue with locals and business people. The French Open can. I still think they should make a lot more of an effort.

NicoFan
05-31-2008, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the information.

Sounds as bad as the US Open, which is also extremely fan-unfriendly.

Both only care about the corporate sponsors, and it's a shame for the sport. And the sponsors should be annoyed too. Companies sponsor events so that the fans will buy their products or use their services. If the fans are unhappy, they won't do that.

The only thing that the writer was incorrect about, however, was live streaming. The Oz Open does have live streaming, but it was unavailable for those in the US and and I believe most of Europe. In the US, it was ESPN that streamed the Oz Open, but most Americans don't have ESPN360. So most went without live streaming.

And the US Open has never had live streaming except for one lone night. They will have live streaming in 2009, but again, it will only be through ESPN360 and so the vast majority of people won't get live streaming.

Action Jackson
05-31-2008, 08:48 PM
Well all the events have to progress with the times and make sure the facilities are up to standard.

Each one has their own thing. RG think it's cool to start events on a Sunday, in trying to fleece more money from people, because if they really cared about it, then they'd split the matches 21, 21 and 22 over the 3 days.

Wimbledon don't allow play on middle Sundays. The US Open has stupid Saturday.

The AO's time of the year helps and hinders as well.

Herdwick
05-31-2008, 09:28 PM
Thanks for this - info of this kind is really helpful. We were discussing which slam would be best to visit as pay-as-you-go plebs with no influence or likelihood of corporate/freebie seats. Looks like Melbourne may be our best bet - used to sleep out at Wimbledon but can't face that any more.

Corey Feldman
05-31-2008, 09:46 PM
and what about the french fans ?

at times you could hear a pin drop during the Monf-Melzer match

they never cheered for their own guy only until he was ahead

poor Melzer was hitting some great winners and about 3 ppl applauded

nothing like Wimbledon centre court going mad whenever Henman saved a BP, when Monf was in trouble it was deathening silence

Marine
05-31-2008, 09:46 PM
I don't know the other grand slams, but I think the organisation of RG is excellent. And in general the players think the same.
Except the tickets sale (a shame !) I don't know what's the problem with the food, which is very good... at least it doesn't smell hamburgers everywhere in the stands !

FedFan_2007
05-31-2008, 09:50 PM
Can't we all agree - THE SLAMS SUCK DONKEY BALLS! Madrid AMS is the real deal.

jazar
05-31-2008, 10:02 PM
organisation is rather poor. the french have no idea how to organise a queue (no offence to the french people on this board). and they just pile people into the stands with no reagrd for health and satefy. however, it didnt stop me from thoroughly enjoying the time i spent there

Corey Feldman
05-31-2008, 11:12 PM
however, it didnt stop me from thoroughly enjoying the time i spent there
you actually enjoyed something ? you always sound a right miserable git.

Labamba
05-31-2008, 11:45 PM
organisation is rather poor. the french have no idea how to organise a queue (no offence to the french people on this board). and they just pile people into the stands with no reagrd for health and satefy. however, it didnt stop me from thoroughly enjoying the time i spent there

totally agree about the queue thing, it's always a mess at RG :lol:

also the tournament area is too small for such a large number of people

otherwise can't really agree with the op or the blogger about RG being fan-unfriendly

sarciness
06-01-2008, 01:04 AM
you actually enjoyed something ? you always sound a right miserable git.
:rolls:

El Legenda
06-01-2008, 01:12 AM
The Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open are all being streamed from several courts. As it is today, the one and only major event without this service is Roland Garros. During these two weeks, tennis fans around the world are swung back to the 90’s with one match being broadcasted at a time on Eurosport or any of the other major sport channels.

i guess espn360 and tennischannel.com or justin.tv or channelsurfing.net dont count.

JimmyV
06-01-2008, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the information.

Sounds as bad as the US Open, which is also extremely fan-unfriendly.

Both only care about the corporate sponsors, and it's a shame for the sport. And the sponsors should be annoyed too. Companies sponsor events so that the fans will buy their products or use their services. If the fans are unhappy, they won't do that.

The only thing that the writer was incorrect about, however, was live streaming. The Oz Open does have live streaming, but it was unavailable for those in the US and and I believe most of Europe. In the US, it was ESPN that streamed the Oz Open, but most Americans don't have ESPN360. So most went without live streaming.

And the US Open has never had live streaming except for one lone night. They will have live streaming in 2009, but again, it will only be through ESPN360 and so the vast majority of people won't get live streaming.

I've gone to the U.S. Open the past four years, multiple times each year. How can you say it's unfriendly to the fans? Have you ever been to a baseball game? For 40 dollars I can get on any court I want except for Arthur Ashe, sit practically wherever I want, and stay for the entire day. The food is a little expensive, but compared to going to a Mets or Yankees game its a downright bargain. The people are I've met their are friendly and the staff has always been helpful. The only complaint I've ever had is how they gouge you for water, are we going to the same tournament?

GlennMirnyi
06-01-2008, 01:25 AM
you actually enjoyed something ? you always sound a right miserable git.

Jazar, I like you mate but that was actually very funny. :tape:

:haha: :haha: :haha:

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 02:21 AM
I've gone to the U.S. Open the past four years, multiple times each year. How can you say it's unfriendly to the fans? Have you ever been to a baseball game? For 40 dollars I can get on any court I want except for Arthur Ashe, sit practically wherever I want, and stay for the entire day. The food is a little expensive, but compared to going to a Mets or Yankees game its a downright bargain. The people are I've met their are friendly and the staff has always been helpful. The only complaint I've ever had is how they gouge you for water, are we going to the same tournament?

I think we are going to different tournaments, because I've been going to the US Open for longer than I care to admit, and I've never heard anyone say that the staff at the US Open is "helpful." ;) :lol: Surly and unpleasant, but certainly never "helpful."

savesthedizzle
06-01-2008, 04:13 AM
I never actually need or talk to any of the staff when I go to the USO so I don't really care if they're nice or not :lol: but I have to say for a sporting event in the US, it is well priced. They get you on the food, but it's an NYC sporting event, I expect that. I'd much rather spend $45 for an entire day of tennis than $80 for like a 2 hour basketball game. :shrug:

Although on a completely unrelated note about people who work at sporting events, I love the people who work the concession stands at MSG. It makes me laugh when they start letting you into your seats and all the workers, as they tend their hot dogs and pretzels, are (required) to say "Hi! Welcome to the Garden!" Okay that's all. :)

CyBorg
06-01-2008, 04:25 AM
It's in France - what can you expect?

JimmyV
06-01-2008, 04:28 AM
I think we are going to different tournaments, because I've been going to the US Open for longer than I care to admit, and I've never heard anyone say that the staff at the US Open is "helpful." ;) :lol: Surly and unpleasant, but certainly never "helpful."

Egh, whenever I asked some people there questions they answered me and were nice about it. When I'm the 500th person in the last hour to ask where the bathroom is, I don't expect them to break into a huge grin, grab a cane, and sing me the directions in musical form, then ask if they can wipe my ass for me.

Leo
06-01-2008, 06:05 AM
Actually I think the US Open is very fan friendly.

I don't like the ticket system at the French. At the US Open, you buy a ticket for Ashe and you can get on ANY court, plain and simple.

Nadal_Fanatic
06-01-2008, 06:08 AM
I don't like the fans. I think the clay court slam should be held in Spain as the most clay court specialists come from there.

dmit424
06-01-2008, 07:01 AM
Whenever they show coverage in the U.S., like 1/4 of the fans are always sleeping. The FO organizers probably figure, "Eh, whatever."

hope11
06-01-2008, 07:58 AM
Interesting comments about the French Open. I love reading about what others thought about tournaments they have attended.....I felt that the AO was very fan friendly. I don't find the customer service to be very good in Australia but it was great at the AO. The only complaint I have is that there weren't enough scoreboards displaying current scores of all the courts. Otherwise a great fan friendly tournament. I really enjoyed it!

Puschkin
06-01-2008, 08:47 AM
quoting
http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Mr._Chip_&_Charge
The Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open are all being streamed from several courts. As it is today, the one and only major event without this service is Roland Garros.

This is not true. Eurosport does offer streams of different courts, but you have to pay for it and strangely enough it is hardly advertised and probably not available everywhere.

I have been to RG many times and I agree with many of the critical points, a lot of patience is needed in all the queues (entry, food, rest-rooms).

And I also wondered about the French crowd, they cheer for their favs when they are leading, not when they are behind. Chartrier can be quite dull occasionally, and I generally find the athmosphere on Lenglen and even more on court 1 much more enthusiastic.

rafa_maniac
06-01-2008, 10:05 AM
The Oz Open is indeed my favourite of the slams because it's such an easy, fan friendly tournament. Great weather, great facilities, great venues, scoreboards, food, tickets are cheap and easy to atain etc... Never been to the French, but it sounds like a nightmare.

*Ljubica*
06-01-2008, 12:50 PM
OK- I've just come home from a week at Roland Garros - I adore the place, and I really don't think it's that "fan unfriendly" at all :shrug:

There's a big screen in the central square, they sell plenty of hot food in the kiosks to the side of Suzanne Lenglen court (chips, sausages, burgers, pizza etc), you can walk onto almost any outside court without all the ghastly queueing you have to do to get onto courts at Wimbledon, and I've always found the staff at the Information Desks etc very helpful and friendly.

Only problem I ever find there is the mess getting in, which others have already mentioned. Why the hell thay can't organise the queues, and separate ticket holders from those wanting to buy tickets, those with accreditation, and those collecting e-tickets, I will never know :rolleyes: Yesterday was a total nightmare trying to push through the people to find the right entrance :rolleyes: But - other than that - I love RG - everyone has different tastes I guess :shrug:

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 02:25 PM
Egh, whenever I asked some people there questions they answered me and were nice about it. When I'm the 500th person in the last hour to ask where the bathroom is, I don't expect them to break into a huge grin, grab a cane, and sing me the directions in musical form, then ask if they can wipe my ass for me.

Nor do I. ;)

Hey if you love the US Open, you keep on loving it dude.

But I've been going far too long, and have been to a number of tournaments where they do treat the fans well, and know the difference.

bjurra
06-01-2008, 03:11 PM
But I've been going far too long, and have been to a number of tournaments where they do treat the fans well, and know the difference.

Which tournaments do you think care the most about the fans?

bjurra
06-01-2008, 03:15 PM
OK- I've just come home from a week at Roland Garros - I adore the place, and I really don't think it's that "fan unfriendly" at all :shrug:

There's a big screen in the central square, they sell plenty of hot food in the kiosks to the side of Suzanne Lenglen court (chips, sausages, burgers, pizza etc), you can walk onto almost any outside court without all the ghastly queueing you have to do to get onto courts at Wimbledon, and I've always found the staff at the Information Desks etc very helpful and friendly.

Only problem I ever find there is the mess getting in, which others have already mentioned. Why the hell thay can't organise the queues, and separate ticket holders from those wanting to buy tickets, those with accreditation, and those collecting e-tickets, I will never know :rolleyes: Yesterday was a total nightmare trying to push through the people to find the right entrance :rolleyes: But - other than that - I love RG - everyone has different tastes I guess :shrug:

You have low expectations, CatLady.

There is one single large screen in all of Roland Garros but there should be at least 3 in my opinion. Other Slams are not much better though. Worse than that, there is no livescore in the main square, except for PC and SL. I had tickets to Court 1 and it was impossible to know the score outside the entrance!

I was there for 5 days and got very tired of Hot dogs and pizza and hamburgers. The food offer at the US Open is a lot better. Queues were terrible too.

As for your comment that it is possible to walk onto any outside court without waiting, I dont know what you are talking about. Did you stick to womens doubles?

cobalt60
06-01-2008, 03:16 PM
If you are in the states head to Cinci Masters. Nice tournament both years I went :yeah:
And hmmm about the USOpen. I have been requested to go again this year. Turned it down in the past; might do so again :lol:

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 03:25 PM
Which tournaments do you think care the most about the fans?

Like Cobalt said, Cincy is an excellent tournament for fans. Very fan friendly.

To be honest, I don't care about the price of food because I don't have a family with me. But the food is less expensive. Ticket prices are very low for all that you see.

But it's the attitude of the workers. From the ticket sales to the food workers to the ushers, it is all respect for the fans who come in. I've spent a fair amount of time in the state of Ohio, and to be honest, overall they are a very nice people, so it's probably an extension of just the way they are on a daily basis. :)

And most importantly for me, there are no long waits to get into the tournament - no insane security people making your life miserable. They just nicely check your bag in seconds and pass you on. And no long wait to get on to the courts - they are all good size courts, easy to get into and out of.

And I love to watch practices, and Cincy is the only tournament that I've every gone to that has a practice schedule so you know exactly when and where the players are going to be practicing.

It's a very popular tournament and well attended so its not like they don't have a lot of fans to deal with. They do, and they still treat the fans well.

The USTA needs to send their US Open team to Cincy to see how its done. :yeah:

bjurra
06-01-2008, 04:09 PM
I have been to Cincy and I agree it is good for fans. I prefer Indian Wells though, also a very fan friendly tournament.

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 04:26 PM
I have been to Cincy and I agree it is good for fans. I prefer Indian Wells though, also a very fan friendly tournament.

I would love to go to IW someday - I've only heard great things about it, and that it is also very fan friendly.

Miami is a lovely tournament, but the outer courts are far too small, making it very difficult to get into those courts. And when I say too small, I mean they need to be doubled in size. Very frustrating, to the point that it sucks a lot of the joy out of attending. It's too bad because the venue is beautiful - I think the main stadium is one of the prettiest that I've ever seen at a tournament. And food is great, and tickets aren't expensive.

New Haven is just a small tournament, but for family fan friendly, it's also good. It has a huge play area for kids, with a rock wall, the works. Food is good, tickets are cheap, and very very easy to get into the outer courts. Also practice courts are relatively easy to view if you know where to hang out.

Fee
06-01-2008, 05:37 PM
IW and Cincy are fan friendly, in my opinion, but I think both could be a little bit more accomodating to the heat problems that could arise (Cincy needs more shade perhaps). Cincy has free parking! The only thing they need to do better is crowd control at the front practice courts, it can get very dicey on that narrow path.

The USO is 'meh'. I don't think it is fan friendly to have a band playing in the perfect location to interfere with about 6 of the outside courts, it was very annoying and made me wonder if the USTA thinks tennis is not very entertaining. They also need to remove the bushes from the pactice courts closest to the player entrance, and just acknowledge the fact that people like to watch parctice. Yes, the 'grounds pass' is still a great deal, and the food is an absolute ripoff, but at least the grounds are huge and you rarely feel claustrophobic there.

Wimbledon is almost militantly organized it seems. I like that event, but I went there pre-disposed to like it and it was going to take a lot to change my opinion. Would be nice if they could squeeze some seats into the outside courts, but space is an issue there and everyone seems to know in advance that a grounds pass at W. means lots of STANDING.

No tournament is going to please everyone, but it does seem like RG could use a few tweaks to make it more efficient.

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 06:01 PM
The practice court path at Cincy is more than a bit crowded. :lol: And the heat in Cincy is insane. I don't have problems with heat, and even I felt like I was dying at times.

The band thing is bad at the US Open. And for an event that has a "Practice Day," they are the WORST for watching practices. And they will do things to make it a terrible experience, almost as a FU to the fans, like place security barriers in front of the few areas where you can stand and watch the practices (even if it is through a narrow slit in a gate).

And the lines to get in are a joke. The worse was either last year or the year before when the fans in the night sessions were stretched across the boardwalk, through the subway station, and out in the Shea Stadium lot. It was so bad for the fans, Johnny Mac mentioned it on TV and said that the USTA needed to do a better job.

The saddest thing is what they've done to Armstrong which used to be a lovely place to watch tennis. Now they have all those really expensive seats which limits the number of general ticket holders into the stadium. Long lines to get in, and if you do get in, you don't leave because it is difficult to get back in. I've found a way to get in through a back door, but it requires a large stairway climb so I only want to do it a limited number of times. :lol:

My friends and I joke that the USTA sits in meetings before the US Open, and say - what can we do this year to really screw over the fans and make them even more miserable?!?!?! :rolls:

NicoFan
06-01-2008, 06:07 PM
I just thought of something to beat the heat in Cincy. They should put up one of the mist tents like they have at all day outdoor concerts. It would be fun and it would help beat the heat. :yeah:

Cincy is a huge family tournament, more kids there than I see at most tournaments. The kids would love it! :lol: (And me too as an adult).

ryan23
06-01-2008, 06:09 PM
The AO is super because they know they can't fill their venue with locals and business people. The French Open can. I still think they should make a lot more of an effort.

Ive been to rg and ao and i much prefer the Ao i'm with you on your points

jazar
06-01-2008, 06:44 PM
you actually enjoyed something ? you always sound a right miserable git.

well, the fact the murray lost during the time i was there contributed to my enjoyment

faboozadoo15
06-01-2008, 07:27 PM
I've been to all four majors, and they all have their good points and their bad points. Roland Garros has by far the worst organization and facilities, however. I love the tennis though. I thoroughly enjoyed myself after I got through the "queue" :tape: I also love the stylish people. :kiss:

The US Open is so reasonably priced. They get you on the food though. But I'm pretty savvy about getting myself a sandwich in. Always check the rules and bag regulations, because they seem to change every year. :tape: The US Open has an electric atmosphere, however. It has certainly the best night matches.

Wimbledon is pricey and a bit drab. It's very well organized and beautiful though. A great stage for tennis, and the fans are friendlier than the French fans. To me, it's relaxed. That might jst be me though.

The AO is very chill as far as fans and friendliness, but I didn't enjoy walking through crowds of unclothed middle-aged drunk folks when it was over 100 Deg F one day. Not my cup of tea. It's a great time though.

Sommarsverige
06-01-2008, 08:09 PM
I have also come back some days ago from Roland Garros and I can only agree to some points you mentionned!
Everything is quite unorganized and the queuing is just annoying in my eyes. I hate it that you have to queue to get in to the venue, you have to queue if you want to get on court, you have to queue to get something to eat or to go to the toilet! I think sometimes it is just too much!!!

Also 2 days I had e-tickets and the first I asked a guy where I had to go in with that. He told me it is the Susanne Lenglen entrance, but when I got there it was the wrong one :( I was really angry, because the distances are not really close, and I wanted to see a match at 11 that day. And what made me especially angry was that they put a guy who didn´t even speak english at that gate at Susanne Lenglen entrance, so he even couldn´t explain to me where I had to go in instead. I personally think this is just a no-go to put people who only speak french at such an international event...

Apart from that, I must say I really like the atmosphere at RG and also as I love clay tennis, it is just a great event anyway! As I have not been to other Grand Slam tournaments, I cannot compare the situation in Paris to other ones, but anyway, some things are just annoying at the French Open!

FerrersLinda
06-01-2008, 08:20 PM
The should seriously organize the weather better. All three times I've been there it has rained and it was so cold I lost all feeling in my toes.:awww:

Only real problems I have with RG, apart from the weather which they obviously can't do anything about, are the queues and the way they sell tickets. Don't understand the food issue because there's a wide variety of food including hot stuff available. Love love love the gardens of RG area.:)