Marbella is expanding its love affair with professional tennis. Following the success of the Senior Masters at the Puente Romano’s splendid courts, the town is now making a bid to host the next Davis Cup tie between Spain and Great Britain.
The mayor, Ángeles Muñoz and Javier Mérida, the councillor for Sports, visited the Spanish Tennis Federation in Madrid at the end of October to put Marbella forward as a candidate for the tournament that will take place on 2nd-4th February 2018.
If successful, the Puente Romano Hotel has already announced that it will build extra stands to accommodate the tennis fans who are sure to flock to this prestigious sporting event. The plans would extend the number of seats to 8,500 and includes the addition of TV commentary boxes and VIP areas, as well as media and IT zones.
Marbella’s proposal argues that the town offers the best climate for an outdoor match in February, adding that there is more than sufficient accommodation locally to cater for visitors and it is well located for international travellers with the airport being only a 40-minute drive from the town.
If the proposal is accepted, Marbellís and residents from other parts of the coast could witness the battle between the two national teams, hopefully led by Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Great Britain and Spain are considered to be amongst the major competitors for the Davis Cup and to have the world’s No.1 and No.2 seeded players take to the courts in Marbella is surely an event that will attract exceptional ticket sales.
Other plans in the proposal include the provision of two access routes to the stadium, plus a free bus transfer service. A host of other promotional activities are also planned around the event, including an Internet campaign, a tennis clinic for children and the gift of 1,000 commemorative T-shirts for those who buy the first tickets.
As we know, tennis is popular here with at least a dozen clubs and 4,000 residents who play on a regular basis. Marbella’s council has called on the Junta de Andalucía to back its bid to the same extent as it supporting the bid by Granada to hold the same tournament. Marbella has the backing of several local sport and tourism bodies and politicians have even started a petition on change.org. And, if you are watching social media, you will probably see posts using the hashtag #SíCopaDavisMarbella.
We will know in a couple of weeks if Marbella is successful. We hope the answer is “Sí.”
News flash: since writing it has been announced that Marbella will indeed host one of the qualifying legs of the Davis Cup next year!