The third edition of Lotto Brussels Premier Padel on the Tour & Taxis website is a hell of a vintage. The stage exceeds the 60.000 spectator mark in one week.

We take stock here with Vincent Laureyssens, president of Premier Padel Brussels.

Spectator records

“We broke attendance records this year, we attracted twice as many visitors as the Roland Garros stage in 2023 with a minimum of 60 visitors over the week. Activities began on Thursday 000 with training and qualifications in the club padel of Tour & Taxis, followed by qualifications in my club from Saturday to Monday. With a daily attendance of 10.000 people on the site, it is clear that we have far exceeded our expectations.

The Tour & Taxis site, which covers 100 m² in the heart of Brussels, has contributed greatly to this. Every day, the site records an attendance of between 000 and 10 people, which generates considerable traffic directly to our event. Premier Padel. Access to land number 2 as well as the village padel is free, which attracts many visitors. You just have to pay to be on the central. We are privileged to be able to use such an exceptional site, classified since 1902 and unique in the world.

Brussels Premier Padel P2

For me, the three key points that make our tournament one of the best in the world are, first of all, the Tour & Taxis site which plays an important role. Secondly, our experience, because we have been organizing international tournaments for six years, first with the World Padel Tour and now with Premier Padel. Third, the team I work with matters a lot too. In collaboration with Premier Padel, we did something crazy. I would also say that the welcome of the players is also worth highlighting: we have accommodated the best players in the world at the Amigo Hotel, which is almost a 6-star establishment and the most beautiful hotel in Belgium. Our approach to hospitality, organization, media coverage, particularly our partnership with RTL, has always aimed for excellence.”

The finals broadcast on RTL

“RTL broadcast the tournament finals for the first time, live from 14 p.m. to 00 p.m. This represented five hours of live broadcast on one of the three largest national channels, which was a great first for us. We are impatiently awaiting the audience figures, which RTL management must communicate to us this week. The first feedback is excellent, we received a lot of positive feedback from viewers who discovered the padel for the first time, in a framework described by Adel Aref, the boss of Premier Padel, as similar to playing padel in a museum."

The differences between the WPT and the Premier Padel

“To be completely frank, I find the Premier Padel as being more professional, more experienced and overall nicer to work for. I have the chance to collaborate with an exceptional team, and our association with the team of Premier Padel was equally excellent.

Brussels Premier Padel P2

Adel Aref described our tournament in Brussels as one of the ten most beautiful tournaments in padel in the world. Premier Padel goes so far as to compare us to the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix or the Queen's tennis tournament, so prestigious was our event. We welcomed notable personalities such as the Minister-President, the former Prime Minister, ten other ministers, as well as Justine Henin, and celebrities such as Elke Clijsters and Sabine Appelmans. For them, it was almost like being at the Monaco Grand Prix, as the setting and atmosphere were exceptional. The event attracted fans from padel, but also many visitors who had never played padel before and who had simply come to have a good time at Tour & Taxis and discover the padel in an incredible atmosphere.”

An expansion of the center

“In all honesty, if I had to identify one area for improvement, it would be the expansion of the center. We were sold out, a real “sold out”. On Tuesday, we broke a world record with over 5 people in attendance. There has never been a tournament in the world that has had more than 000 or 200 people on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, we had around 300 people. We broke last year's world record by 10 people.

We were also full Thursday evening, Friday evening, Saturday noon, Saturday evening and Sunday. Our main challenge is therefore space, because the building is listed and we cannot modify the walls. Adel Aref even mentioned in the newspaper that the only point of improvement would be to widen the walls. As for the weather, we had ideal average weather, gray, between 12 and 15 degrees, without too much rain, which is perfect. People are less likely to come if the weather is too good. So, in terms of improvement, I don’t see what we could have done better for this third edition.”

A prize money that aims to evolve

“Regarding prize money, our approach is quite unique. In addition to the usual prize money for men and women, we are offering a bronze racket worth €30. To obtain it, you must win our tournament twice in three years. Alejandro Galán was the first to mark the history of padel in Belgium by winning this famous racket, in addition to €30, which is obviously considerable, if we compare with tennis, the amounts are not as high, but we must remember that the padel is a still young sport. Everything takes time and Premier Padel actively works to improve things. We must also not forget that players earn a very good living thanks to sponsorship contracts for rackets, textiles, shoes, etc. This compensates for a prize money which is a little more reasonable today.”

Brussels Premier Padel P2

A P1 from next year

“Absolutely, we have the ambition to go from P2 to P1 in the very near future, even as early as next year. We are doing everything we can to achieve this. This desire is shared by everyone: the players, the circuit and the brands are unanimously in favor of this transition.

We signed for 3 years and we hope to get back to the table with Premier Padel quickly to pass P1 and sign for longer obviously.”

Dorian Massy

New follower of padel, I am fascinated by this dynamic sport which combines strategy and agility. I find in the padel a new passion to explore and share with you on Padel Magazine.