Feliciano Lopez is not an active ATP player anymore, having retired earlier this year in Mallorca, but he's still involved in tennis; after serving as the director for the Madrid Open for a while, the Spaniard got a gig at the Davis Cup.
His appointment as director was scrutinized heavily by fans after this year's Madrid Open fiasco, though he hasn't gotten much of the criticism when it comes to the Davis Cup. That's mostly reserved for the ITF, with Stan Wawrinka being particularly loud.
Lopez, who talked to Puntodebreak, now addressed some of that criticism by explaining that it's really hard to draw big crowds if you don't have a big name playing, such as Carlos Alcaraz or Novak Djokovic. It's kind of true, but it's also not the best way to address it because the crowds would be bigger in the old format.
This topic is very complicated. To begin with, on a Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., in any city in the world where the game is played, it is very difficult to fill a stadium... unless you have a megastar like Alcaraz or Djokovic.
The other trick is for the local country [Great Britain] to play, as happened the other day in Manchester with 12,000 people. Nobody uploaded that photo, they only put the photo of when no one is there.
Lopez has a point in the sense that you need some big names to fill an arena, but generally, we've seen great support in the Davis Cup regardless of who plays if the nation is at home. It's hard to imagine that Australia couldn't fill an arena back home or that France couldn't do it.
Even Switzerland could probably fill an arena despite no Federer back home. Denying that the crowds wouldn't be bigger in the old format is rather silly.