Marbella wants the central court at the Puente Romano tennis club to be the venue for the Davis Cup clash between Spain and the United Kingdom next year. As part of its application to host the event, the council says it would expand the seating around the court so that 8,500 people could attend. The details were revealed in Madrid last Thursday, at the Spanish Tennis Federation, by the mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, sports councillor Javier Mérida and Marbella-based tennis star Manolo Santana.
The eliminatory round, the first in the world series, will be played between 2 and 4 February 2018 and Marbella council says it will organise different promotional activities including a stand at Malaga airport and as well as at the World Travel Market in London next week.
Two access routes
The council has planned two access routes especially for fans, who can take advantage of a free transfer service on 30 buses, which will make four journeys an hour and can carry 60 passengers each per trip.
They also plan to convert the central court at the Puente Romano hotel into a stadium 10,000 square metres in size, with stands, boxes, and TV commentary boxes. The presidential boxes would have space for 120 people and there would be two boxes for the teams, holding 18 people each, and for sponsors as well as areas for VIPs, press and IT services. The local authority stressed the quality of the facilities at the tennis club, with its gymnasium, massage room, sauna and Turkish bath, among others.
In the proposal, which is supported by the Andalusian Tennis Federation, Costa del Sol Tourism, Aehcos and CIT Marbella, it is pointed out that hotels in the town can accommodate over 26,500 people, it is a cosmopolitan enclave with excellent communications and Malaga airport just a short distance away. It has already hosted the eliminatory round of the Davis Cup in 2009 and tennis is extremely popular in the town: there are about a dozen clubs with more than 4,000 regular players.
In its application, the council announced numerous promotional activities, including a clinic for children and other initiatives, an internet campaign and the gift of 1,000 commemorative t-shirts for those who buy the first tickets.
The mayor has also called for the Junta de Andalucía to give equal backing to the two places in the region that have submitted bids to Spanish tennis bosses to host the first clash of the 2018 Davis Cup. “We want the regional government to get on board and back the Marbella candidacy with financial and promotional involvement in the same way they have done for Granada, and we're sure they will,” explained Múñoz.
Although the regional government hasn't publicly backed either bid, Marbella town hall sources claim that they have proof that the rival Andalusian candidacy in Granada has had support from the Junta.
Marbella's candidacy is backed by numerous local sport and tourism bodies as well as locals who have posted on social media with the hashtag #SíCopaDavisMarbella. Earlier this week local politicians also started a petition on change.org.
The name of the successful applicant will be revealed in the next two weeks.