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Organizers plan Delray Beach Open with COVID-19 in mind

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 18:25:18-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The Delray Beach Open is one of the biggest sporting events in South Florida. But come February, it's likely to look a lot different.

On Atlantic Avenue, bouncing between the sounds of traffic, are the sounds of perseverance.

"We’re forging ahead," said John Butler, the executive director of the Delray Beach Open. "We’ve been busier than ever."

The annual tennis tournament held in February typically brings thousands of people to the city.

But in a pandemic, Butler said they have no choice but to make some changes.

"It’s a reduced footprint, so normally we would allow 8,000 and this would be about 2,000," Butler said.

As for the players…

"Testing at the hotel, testing here at the site. Everyone has to have negative results before they can come on property," Butler said.

Over at Brûlée Restaurant, assistant general manager Taylor Wuennemann said even a scaled back event will help business.

"With the open specifically, it’s just an unbelievable opportunity. It’s great," Wuennemann said. "It is definitely better than nothing. I can agree with that."

Still, he's hoping for an economic grand slam by February.

"I definitely think they should open it up, try it 100% and make some specific parameters so that everyone feels comfortable, but we can also see a profit," Wuennemann said.