Austrian Open Championships – a successful tournament story comes to an end!
After long, intensive deliberations, those responsible for the WTSV organization team, led by President Hermann Götz and Vice President Wolfgang Eliasch, had to inform the WTSV Executive Committee with a heavy heart that they could no longer continue with the Austrian Open Championships.
Allow us to look back on a 26-year tournament history:
In 1994 the 1st AOC was held in the Wiener Stadthalle. The premiere was successful, the atmosphere and the conditions for the athletes, as well as the hospitality for officials and guests, advertised themselves and quickly brought the AOC their good reputation at home and abroad. The number of participating couples increased from year to year. The enthusiasm and commitment of all officials was enormous and, despite growing difficulties on the part of the Stadthalle, always unbroken. Due to the constantly increasing costs over the years and increased requirements, also on the part of the world association, the AOC could hardly be financed and could only be kept alive through private initiative.
After 19 years, the organizers dared to start again, the venue was moved to Schwechat for the 20th AOC. The Multiversum, a hall that actually left nothing to be desired for the organizational team and also offered athletes a special flair, was soon able to dispel the resentment of no longer being in the center of Vienna. The conditions were excellent - two halls, a perfectly located VIP room, spacious cloakrooms and a thankful strong support from the city of Schwechat. All this also put the Austrian Open on a solid financial basis.
It could have been so beautiful!!
After four years, the 2nd hall was suddenly no longer available, which meant a major disruption to the event. Every event lives from and is financed by the number of participants and spectators. The Austrian Open now faced a drop to almost half.
Ultimately, the city of Schwechat decided to sell the entire multiverse. For economic reasons, the new owners undertook a restructuring of the hall. For the organisers, this meant:
• The technology was outsourced, higher costs due to additional external companies
• Higher rents with partly non-binding information
• No long-term date guarantee by the new operator
• Loss of support from the city of Schwechat
Other difficulties to be mentioned are:
• Increasing demands from the world association
• Rising TV production costs
• Increasing difficulty in recruiting volunteers and thus increased need for paid services
The significantly more difficult framework conditions, the pandemic and the three-year standstill have increased the organizational and financial risk of those primarily responsible to an extent that is no longer justifiable.
Unfortunately, 26 successful years of the Austrian Open Championships have become history.
Thank you very much
• with the participating couples and world champions for many unforgettable emotional moments
• from our viewers for their loyalty over many years
• from all officials at home and abroad for the appreciation
• thanks to all volunteers for their tireless efforts
• to the city of Schwechat for the hospitality and supporty
• with the sponsors
• at ÖTSV for international promotion and financial support
and last but not least to the WTSV Board of Directors for the many years of trust!