'Roger Federer Arena' plan fails to rally signatures | Inquirer Sports
Close  

‘Roger Federer Arena’ plan fails to rally signatures

/ 01:31 PM October 20, 2020
Switzerland's Roger Federer

FILE PHOTO– Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates as he wins a point as he returns against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas during the men’s singles semi-final match on day seven of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 16, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

A push to rename Basel’s main sports arena after local tennis superstar Roger Federer fell through on Monday after it failed to garner enough signatures.

Hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, Federer fans fell 1,800 signatures short of the 3,000 required to trigger a local public vote on the proposal.

ADVERTISEMENT

But hopes that the St. Jakobshalle will be renamed he Roger Federer Arena are still burning despite the setback, Swiss news agency ATS reported.

St. Jakobshalle hosts the Swiss Indoors men’s tennis tournament, which reigning champion Federer won for the 10th time last year.

FEATURED STORIES

Basel-born Federer, 39, used to live in the suburb where the hall is located. As a youngster, he spent two years as a ball boy at the Swiss Indoors and nowadays holds a post-tournament pizza party for the ball boys and girls in homage to his formative years crouching at the net.

In Switzerland, renaming streets, squares and the like after public figures is typically a posthumous honor

The idea to change the arena’s name has been floating around since 2012 but all attempts have so far flopped.

The initiators believe the move would have a positive impact on the city, tourism and tennis.

They nonetheless submitted their petition to the Basel City cantonal authorities on Monday in the hope that the request will be met.

The 12,400-capacity St. Jakobshalle opened in 1976.

The arena completed a three-year renovation in 2018 at a cost of around 100 million Swiss francs ($110 million, 93 million euros).

ADVERTISEMENT

The last time Federer played the Swiss Indoors and failed to reach the final was in 2003.

Currently the world number four, Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles — a record now shared with Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard’s 2020 French Open victory.

He topped the 2020 Forbes magazine list of highest-paid global athletes, raking in pre-tax earnings of $106.3 million — with $100 million coming from appearance fees and endorsement deals.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Basel, Grand Slam, Roger Federer, Switzerland, Tennis
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.