Teil der HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300
Preisgeld USD 210 000.–

19.–24. März 2024, St. Jakobshalle Basel

24. March 2024


The Yonex Swiss Open 2024 are now history. Tournament president Christian Wackernagel is therefore taking stock – and the result is very positive. It was an outstanding edition in the long history of the tournament.

Christian Wackernagel, organizers of sporting events often rave about the “best event ever” at their conclusion. Do you share the sentiment?
Christian Wackernagel: I keep it modest – or, since we’re talking badminton, let’s say I keep the shuttle low – and say: It was certainly one of the better tournaments we’ve organized. The turnout from spectators was significantly higher compared to the challenging years of the pandemic and even exceeded last year. That’s not surprising. We had sold 20 to 25 percent more tickets already in advance. In total, there were 13’000 to 15’000 spectators. This brings us back to the peak figures of the early 2000s, when regularly between 17’000 and 20’000 badminton enthusiasts flocked to the Joggeli Hall. So, the trend is heading in the right direction. It was also a great tournament from a sporting perspective, which thrilled the fans. I’m sure many will say next year: The Yonex Swiss Open is fantastic, I must go again. It offers something special.
What date should fans mark on their calendars for 2025?
It’s the week of March 18th to 23rd – a good date, as the carnival and school holidays will be over. But back to this year’s tournament: Organizational matters also went smoothly.
How many volunteers contributed to this?
About 150 people are involved in the organization – from those assisting with infrastructure setup, transportation, accreditation, to line judges, everyone pitches in.
How easy is it to recruit these individuals, who mostly work on a voluntary basis?
We’re fortunate that many volunteers have been with us for a long time – some since the beginning. I estimate that we need to replace 20 to 30 people per year due to various reasons, often due to age. So far, we’ve always been able to fill their positions.
What remains particularly challenging?
Finances, as always. Without sufficient funding, organizing the event becomes difficult. Therefore, we rely on sponsors and partner companies who assist us with cash and in-kind services, enabling us to meet our annual budget of 1.2 million Swiss francs.
What’s the feedback from the players?
It’s excellent. They know and appreciate the Yonex Swiss Open. This helps us when players plan their yearly schedules. They firmly include us.
Christian Wackernagel, what will you be doing on Monday, a day after the tournament?
I’ll be here at the venue, attending to various tasks. Because the tournament doesn’t simply end with the final match on Sunday; it extends further. Numerous transports are needed, and administrative tasks, invoicing, and expressions of gratitude shouldn’t be underestimated. Additionally, we conduct debriefings everywhere, and we can’t wait too long. Everything is still fresh right after the tournament.
Allow me to ask differently: What will you be doing on Monday next week?
Perhaps really indulging in a long sleep. Because I’m not under 30 anymore like when I started with the tournament. I feel it. I experience cramps every night. After the strain, my body now definitely needs some wellness days.
May I ask where you experience these cramps?
Mainly in my legs. That comes from a lot of stair climbing and covering extensive distances, easily totaling 30'000 steps per day. The physical, as well as psychological demands, are enormous.