Roger Federer cops extraordinary snub from hometown fans
A push to rename Basel’s main sports arena after tennis superstar Roger Federer has fallen through after it failed to garner enough signatures.
But there are still those who are hopeful that the St. Jakobshalle will be renamed The Roger Federer Arena despite the setback.
In Switzerland, renaming streets, squares and the like after public figures is typically a posthumous honour.
The idea to change the arena’s name has been floating around since 2012 but all attempts have so far flopped.
Those who are behind the petition believe the move would have a positive impact on the city, tourism and tennis.
But due to the coronavirus pandemic, Federer fans weren’t able to meat the 3000 signatures required to trigger the proposal.
They submitted their petition to the Basel City cantonal authorities nonetheless in the hope that the request will be met.
Federer was born in Basel and used to live in the suburb where the arena 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.
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