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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports...tp-battle.html

Quote:
USTA, ATP battle over future of Tennis Channel Open

KEY BISCAYNE -- One of my moles (not a shadowy human but an actual talking rodent) tells me that the letter sent by USTA czar Arlen Kantarian to ATP CEO Etienne de Villiers over the sale of the Las Vegas Tennis Channel Open was candid, clear and extremely tough.

I'd love to see a copy of the letter and I'm working on it, but neither organization is anxious to air this one out publicly. The ATP wants to buy the tournament from the Tennis Channel and move it out of the U.S., possibly South Africa. The USTA, which has invested $6 million in the Tennis Channel, is ready to call up the Marines if that tournament tries to leave the country.

And just to make things more interesting, Butch Buchholz, who is chairman of the Sony Ericsson Open, is putting together a consortium to buy the tournament and move it to Saddlebrook, just outside Tampa. That happens to be where Mardy Fish, the Bryan brothers, John Isner and James Blake practice and call home.

I asked Blake on Friday to comment on the possible loss of this tournament and it was obvious that he's in the loop, which is not surprising, considering his association with Saddlebrook.

"As an American, I know there's been quite a bit of a migration of tournaments from the U.S. I think not that many years ago there were 20 tournaments in the States," he said. There are now 14.

"So I would definitely like to see that number at least stay where it is. The tournament in Vegas, I know, hasn't drawn huge crowds. But if there is a possibility to have it somewhere else in the States, where we can keep kind of the swing going among Delray Beach, Memphis and San Jose, I think that would be great.

"Obviously, I'm a little biased, being an American, but I think it makes sense for the tour."

And if it moved to Saddlebrook? Did I see Blake's eyebrow raise there? "Yeah, I love playing in New Haven because it's so close my home, where I grew up. And if there's a chance to play another tournament close to Tampa, where I live now, whether it be Saddlebrook, that would be ideal. I'd do everything I can to make sure it sells out. I'd invite every single one of my friends."

There's going to be ample opportunity to keep the pressure on to hold onto that 14th U.S. tournament because no decision on sale of an event can be made without the ATP board, which doesn't meet again until Wimbledon.
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:10 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

"As an American, I know there's been quite a bit of a migration of tournaments from the U.S. I think not that many years ago there were 20 tournaments in the States," he said. There are now 14."

Come on...

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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:45 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

I think 3 tournaments in Florida in the first 3 months of the year is a bit much.

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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:49 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

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Originally Posted by LaTenista View Post
I think 3 tournaments in Florida in the first 3 months of the year is a bit much.
Maybe, but that's not a big deal

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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:55 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

south africa could really use an ATP event,
gives a chance for Anderson, De Voest, Moodie, Whitehouse, Van der Merwe, Wolmarans
to get some ATP expierience and in their home country as well,
and theirs only one african atp tournament at the moment (morrocco)
so another one in south africa makes sense...

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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:38 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

Whitehouse spends ALL his time in the US, so he would probably prefer to keep the status quo.
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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:39 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

uh south africa has 0

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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:40 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

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Originally Posted by Rosa Luxembourg View Post
Whitehouse spends ALL his time in the US, so he would probably prefer to keep the status quo.
But never receives WC there.
That's his point i guess.

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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:48 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

Vamos South Africa. Sure they should get one.

Somebody lost a tournament licence in a casino?

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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:50 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathaliia View Post

Somebody lost a tournament licence in a casino?

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post #11 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:52 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

im for it
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post #12 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 03:01 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

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Originally Posted by Renaud View Post
But never receives WC there.
That's his point i guess.

he is over the hill, so not going to get it even it is held in S. Africa
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post #13 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:09 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

Here's a little more insight into the situation:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/s...,6608937.story

Quote:
Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas could move to Tampa area
By Charles Bricker | South Florida Sun-Sentinel


KEY BISCAYNE - The Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas probably will be sold this summer after an unsuccessful two-year run and Butch Buchholz, tournament chairman of the Sony Ericsson Open, will be among those bidding to buy it and move it to Saddlebrook Resort, just outside Tampa.

The ATP also is believed to be interested in purchasing the tournament and moving it to South Africa, a decision that would cause a great deal of consternation at the USTA headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., which takes a very hard line on any American tournament leaving the country.

USTA CEO Arlen Kantarian has sent a letter to ATP CEO Etienne de Villiers expressing his concern over the prospect of the tournament leaving the U.S.

The ATP had no definitive comment on sale of the tournament, except to point out that no decision could be made on sale of any tournament until the ATP board of directors meets at Wimbledon in June.

Sale of the Vegas event would reduce the number of U.S. men's tournaments from 14 to 13 after the USTA invested millions of dollars in the Tennis Channel, which has a contract to broadcast night matches at the Sony Ericsson Open and to also matches from the U.S. Open Series six weeks of men's and women's matches prior to the U.S. Open which was cobbled together as a package by the USTA.

Why the ATP would want to move a tournament to South Africa is a mystery. The country has very few professional players and no history of great tennis. What it does have is the headquarters of South African Airlines, which is a major ATP sponsor.

None of that is making officials at the USTA happy. One of that organization's major goals is to promote tennis in the United States.

The tournament was moved to Las Vegas from Scottsdale, where it had been owned by IMG.

Buchholz said Thursday there could be other bidders, but his plan to form a consortium of investors and play the tournament in a new, 8,000-seat stadium being planned by Saddlebrook. The tournament might keep its current dates the first week in March.

The tournament would have a built-in numbers of players who practice and live either at Saddlebrook or nearby Wesley Chapel, including James Blake, Mardy Fish and the Bryan twins, one of the leading doubles teams in men's tennis.

Saddlebrook is located just off I-75 15 minutes north of Tampa.

Charles Bricker can be reached at cbricker@sun-sentinel.com
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post #14 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:25 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

United States of America: 14 Tournaments
Asia, Africa, Oceania and South America WTA&ATP: 15 Tournaments

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post #15 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 06:06 PM
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Re: Las Vegas ATP event to be sold to South Africa?

Wesley Whitehouse retired and got married. Not sure he cares too much about this particular issue.

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