USTA Buys Cincinnati Tournament [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

USTA Buys Cincinnati Tournament

Chip_s_m
08-04-2008, 11:07 PM
They're only buying the men's tournament, but they're looking to make a combined event.

USTA Buys Cincinnati Masters
By Tennis Week Monday, August 04, 2008

The USTA has acquired another Masters Series title.

The White Plains, N.Y.-based Tennis Association is expanding its portfolio of tournaments by purchasing majority ownership the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, the USTA announced today.

The USTA has reached an agreement with current owner Tennis Cincinnati to "acquire a majority interest in the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters – the second-highest-attended summer tennis event in the U.S. after the U.S. Open." Tennis Cincinnati will retain a minor ownership interest in the event, which is actually staged in Mason, Ohio, a short drive from Cincinnati.

Financial terms of the deal, which is contingent on the ATP's approval, were not disclosed though The SportsBusiness Journal reports when Indian Wells was sold two years ago to a group that included the USTA, the sanction fee was $20 million. Given the fact the USTA will be majority owner in Cincinnati it is probable that fee may be higher.

Under the operation of the Flory family — Tournament Chairman Paul Flory and Tournament Director Bruce Flory — Cincinnati has established a well-earned reputation as a well-run event that is both a favorite of players and fans. The Flory family, tournament COO Elaine Bruening (Tournament COO) and the current tournament staff will continue to run the day-today operations of the tournament.

Cincinnati is one of nine Masters Series events on the ATP calendar and is reportedly confronting up to $20 million in site improvements, which served as the impetus for selling majority interest in the event. Owners of other current tournaments were rumored to be among the bidders before Tennis Cincinnati reached an agreement with the USTA.

"The USTA, with its outstanding major event, the U.S. Open, brings a world-class approach to promoting tennis events and we look forward to working with the entire team to make our event even more player — and fan-friendly," Paul Flory said.

Additionally, the USTA and Tennis Cincinnati are in discussions to potentially secure a top women’s tournament for a future combined men’s and women’s event. The USTA is aiming to create in Cincinnati the type of combined events it already owns in Indian Wells, where it is a minority owner, and New Haven, where it is sole owner of Pilot Pen Tennis, which is the final U.S. Open Series event of the season in August.

"The Cincinnati area enjoys a strong tennis tradition with some of the most passionate fans in the sport, and we look forward to working with the Florys to further enhance the excitement and appeal of this great event," said Arlen Kantarian, USTA CEO of Pro Tennis. "This tournament has elevated the sport of tennis in the country’s heartland, while providing significant contributions to community causes. This is a legacy we look forward to building upon."

That construction plan includes the facilities and television coverage.

In buying the tournament, the USTA does not acquire the 89-acre site in Mason or the Lindner Family Tennis Center stadium. The USTA will lease both the site and stadium from Tennis For Charity, the non-profit owner which uses tournament proceeds to support Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Barrett Cancer Center and Tennis for City Youth. In 2007, proceeds from the tournament were donated to Children’s Hospital for the 34th consecutive year, with
donations totaling more than $7 million to local charities over that time, according to the USTA.

"Our mission has always been to support our charitable efforts, and expanding the tournament is a great step in this direction," Paul Flory said.

Significant upgrades are planned for the tournament beginning in 2009, including a multi-million dollar stadium renovation and an enhanced broadcast television schedule.

CBS will televise the Cincinnati final in 2009 and the USTA is promising there will be significantly more television coverage than the 12 hours ESPN2 televised last week, in the coming years.

Source: http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=6615331

NicoFan
08-04-2008, 11:10 PM
OMG - NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cincy is one of the best tournaments - it is run so well.

The USTA will screw it all up.

Bad bad bad news. Bad!

Smoke944
08-04-2008, 11:26 PM
Yep, my friend told me this. Considering this is the only I go to consistently over the years let me just say this is bad bad bad bad bad :o

Kalliopeia
08-04-2008, 11:32 PM
Ok, why is it bad? I'm genuinely curious. Cincinnati is the only tournament I've ever been to (well, the only one I've ever been to for the entire tournament week) and I love it. I'd hate to see anyone screw it up, or worse, make it into something I can't afford anymore. :(

Smoke944
08-04-2008, 11:33 PM
Ok, why is it bad? I'm genuinely curious. Cincinnati is the only tournament I've ever been to (well, the only one I've ever been to for the entire tournament week) and I love it. I'd hate to see anyone screw it up, or worse, make it into something I can't afford anymore. :(

It will likely be a combined event like Indian Wells or Miami. So really it depends more on what you think of women's tennis...

Lee
08-04-2008, 11:39 PM
It will likely be a combined event like Indian Wells or Miami. So really it depends more on what you think of women's tennis...

It really doesn't matter whether it's a combined event or not. When I was in Indian Wells, I paid most of my atttention to the men's game and occasionally entertained myself with a women's match. :shrug: In big events, you can always move to another court to watch another match.

Kalliopeia
08-04-2008, 11:40 PM
It will likely be a combined event like Indian Wells or Miami. So really it depends more on what you think of women's tennis...


Well I don't have any real opinion on women's tennis, except that it's kind of dull and with a few exceptions none of the players interest me. It's probably the only way they can get anyone to show up for their women's event there in Cincy. They practically beg you to buy tickets for the women's event when they send out the info for the men's event.

Lee
08-04-2008, 11:41 PM
And with USTA involved, I think the tournament will be pretty secured in the current site and not to be moved outside of US or demoted. :shrug:

Deboogle!.
08-04-2008, 11:41 PM
Wasn't combining it a part of both tours' 2009 plans, regardless of who purchased the event?

smucav
08-05-2008, 12:12 AM
Well I don't have any real opinion on women's tennis, except that it's kind of dull and with a few exceptions none of the players interest me. It's probably the only way they can get anyone to show up for their women's event there in Cincy. They practically beg you to buy tickets for the women's event when they send out the info for the men's event.The WTA event is currently a Tier III, but in 2009 it will be a Tier I so more top players will be obligated to play. If there is a combined event in the future the field would be similar to Indian Wells.

Sunset of Age
08-05-2008, 12:14 AM
Wasn't combining it a part of both tours' 2009 plans, regardless of who purchased the event?

That's what I - vaguely - remember as well.

scoobs
08-05-2008, 12:24 AM
Well I don't have any real opinion on women's tennis, except that it's kind of dull and with a few exceptions none of the players interest me. It's probably the only way they can get anyone to show up for their women's event there in Cincy. They practically beg you to buy tickets for the women's event when they send out the info for the men's event.
The bigger problem is for us TV or internet viewers, with a combined event it will mean more mens matches in early rounds get thrown on outside non TV courts and so more potentially interesting encounters will be missed to make way for WTA stuff which is likely to be less interesting.

00923
08-05-2008, 12:32 AM
Are there enough courts in cincy for this?

cobalt60
08-05-2008, 12:34 AM
Are there enough courts in cincy for this?

I don't think so. They'd have to lengthen the tournament. This was discussed as Deb mentioned as I shuddered hearing that the tournie I enjoy so much was going to be combined. They have lots of land however so easy to build new courts :p

Kalliopeia
08-05-2008, 01:15 AM
Are there enough courts in cincy for this?

No way. There is center court, the grandstand, and three other very very small courts with seating, one of those three only has about five rows of bleachers along one side of the court (I'm not sure they ever have actual matches on that court, really). Then there are five practice courts. Not to mention the access to pretty much any court other than center and the grandstand is narrow enough that when a big name practices on one of them it's a nightmare to try to get past. One day last week Roddick and Safin were practicing together, with Moya on the court to the left and Blake on the court to the right. It was almost impossible to walk through there. They'd have to expand.

Pfloyd
08-05-2008, 01:57 AM
That's a bit odd.

They should raise the $ for this tournament if they do that, make it simialar to the Miami Masters.

Chip_s_m
08-05-2008, 02:18 AM
The article mentions that part of the reason they're selling is because they are paying $20 million for capital improvements. My guess is that this is primarily new courts and extra seating.

cobalt60
08-05-2008, 02:24 AM
The article mentions that part of the reason they're selling is because they are paying $20 million for capital improvements. My guess is that this is primarily new courts and extra seating.

Has to be. Ah I can just see it now; gone are the days of relatively cheap tickets to see lots of matches and practises and Free Parking ;)

Smoke944
08-05-2008, 02:29 AM
Has to be. Ah I can just see it now; gone are the days of relatively cheap tickets to see lots of matches and practises and Free Parking ;)

Yeah :smash: :silly:

It really doesn't matter whether it's a combined event or not. When I was in Indian Wells, I paid most of my atttention to the men's game and occasionally entertained myself with a women's match. :shrug: In big events, you can always move to another court to watch another match.

You're absolutely right, but at the same time to be honest I just don't want WTA at Cincy. Don't want it anywhere near :yeah:
For my money Cincy is absolutely PERFECT as it is.

NicoFan
08-05-2008, 02:45 AM
Cincy is the best - the USTA will just ruin it. It's so fan friendly and family friendly. Ticket prices are cheap now, everyone is friendly, practices are easy to watch.

If the US Open is any indication, the USTA will completely stamp out any fan or family friendly aspect that is now there. :mad:

Which may backfire on the USTA - folks in Ohio like "friendly." The USTA can't treat fans there the way they treat the NYers at the US Open who are used to and expect crappy treatment on a daily basis.

And yes, they'll have to expand, becasue there aren't enough courts for both the men and women.

I hate women's tennis (today - I used to like it). And you can't just ignore it. The way they schedule in combined events, in order to get a good seat for a men's match, you have to sit through women's matches.

Chip_s_m
08-05-2008, 03:16 AM
Cincy is the best - the USTA will just ruin it. It's so fan friendly and family friendly. Ticket prices are cheap now, everyone is friendly, practices are easy to watch.

If the US Open is any indication, the USTA will completely stamp out any fan or family friendly aspect that is now there. :mad:

Which may backfire on the USTA - folks in Ohio like "friendly." The USTA can't treat fans there the way they treat the NYers at the US Open who are used to and expect crappy treatment on a daily basis.

And yes, they'll have to expand, becasue there aren't enough courts for both the men and women.

I hate women's tennis (today - I used to like it). And you can't just ignore it. The way they schedule in combined events, in order to get a good seat for a men's match, you have to sit through women's matches.

Arthur Ashe Kids Day seems pretty family friendly to me. Actually, the entire tournament seems pretty fan friendly to me. Sure the prices are high, but prices are always going to be high in NYC. Besides, the money just goes back into promoting the game. It's just not in the USTA's nature to drive fans away. Their whole mission is to get more Americans to play the sport. Pissing them off at a tournament isn't likely to do that. It's not like they've got shareholders breathing down their backs ready to fire management if profits aren't maximized. I've heard you say this about the Open before and I'm genuinely curious as to why you think that. I've always felt the opposite. I've only been to the Open and Pilot Pen (which I also thought was fan-friendly) though, so I don't have too much to base my opinion off of.

The Flory family is going to continue to run the event, so I wouldn't expect too much to change. To be honest it just sounds like they reached out to the USTA to help fund the expansion. Sure, I don't like women's tennis as much either, but men's tennis fans are going to have to get used to combined events. They seem to be the hot new thing these days in professional tennis.

lurker
08-05-2008, 03:32 AM
Well, this year the WTA lost the Tier II event in San Diego that happens around the time of Cincy for the men. It was sold to China, now it's going to be an ndoor fall event I think. This event usually attracted a Tier I type players list (maybe it got promoted to Tier I recently, but I don't keep close tabs on WTA). So it's not too farfetched to see them combining mens and womens events around the time of Cincy, in such a well-attended tennis event area. But they will need more courts to make it happen. Especially if they see it as an Indian Wells-like event. It would cause the unfairness of back to back Tier I/Master Series to ahppen on both tours, too! Gotta love that USTA.

LaTenista
08-05-2008, 03:46 AM
My tennis instructor who is a chair on the tournament committee told me about this tonight at my lesson. Apparently in 2009 the mens and womens tournaments will be back-to-back 2 weeks in August.

To be honest for me Cincy hasn't been the same since it went to a 56 draw. :bs:

Chip_s_m
08-05-2008, 03:48 AM
Well, this year the WTA lost the Tier II event in San Diego that happens around the time of Cincy for the men. It was sold to China, now it's going to be an ndoor fall event I think. This event usually attracted a Tier I type players list (maybe it got promoted to Tier I recently, but I don't keep close tabs on WTA). So it's not too farfetched to see them combining mens and womens events around the time of Cincy, in such a well-attended tennis event area. But they will need more courts to make it happen. Especially if they see it as an Indian Wells-like event. It would cause the unfairness of back to back Tier I/Master Series to ahppen on both tours, too! Gotta love that USTA.

I might be misunderstanding you, but I think the proposed 2009 calendar has Montreal/Toronto and Cincinnati separated by a week, although no one knows for sure since we don't have that calendar yet :o. I believe that Washington DC was in the middle. Not sure about WTA though (I don't follow it too closely either). Besides, the ATP ultimately decides the schedule, although I'm sure the USTA and the other major tennis organizations have some influence (i.e. IMG getting Miami moved back a week this year). It's not in the USTA's best interest to have back-to-back masters events anyways, since that's likely to increase withdrawals of top players at US Open Series events and the US Open. Plus, spreading out the USOS tournaments will mean that players will be in North America longer, since they're unlikely to return home for one week. This means that many will decide to play in the tournament inbetween the two masters (Washington DC). Also, any that want to get some hard court practice in before the masters events would be more likely to play LA and Indianapolis, which have traditionally had trouble attracting top non-American players.

Lee
08-05-2008, 05:37 AM
Has to be. Ah I can just see it now; gone are the days of relatively cheap tickets to see lots of matches and practises and Free Parking ;)

What're the ticket prices to Cincy?

scoobs
08-05-2008, 10:15 AM
My tennis instructor who is a chair on the tournament committee told me about this tonight at my lesson. Apparently in 2009 the mens and womens tournaments will be back-to-back 2 weeks in August.

To be honest for me Cincy hasn't been the same since it went to a 56 draw. :bs:
If they are separate (though considered combined) but back to back events like Rome is I will be happier

clandis
08-05-2008, 11:01 AM
What're the ticket prices to Cincy?

I think I paid 475 dollars for a loge seat for the week.

NicoFan
08-05-2008, 12:34 PM
Arthur Ashe Kids Day seems pretty family friendly to me. Actually, the entire tournament seems pretty fan friendly to me. Sure the prices are high, but prices are always going to be high in NYC. Besides, the money just goes back into promoting the game. It's just not in the USTA's nature to drive fans away. Their whole mission is to get more Americans to play the sport. Pissing them off at a tournament isn't likely to do that. It's not like they've got shareholders breathing down their backs ready to fire management if profits aren't maximized. I've heard you say this about the Open before and I'm genuinely curious as to why you think that. I've always felt the opposite. I've only been to the Open and Pilot Pen (which I also thought was fan-friendly) though, so I don't have too much to base my opinion off of.

The Flory family is going to continue to run the event, so I wouldn't expect too much to change. To be honest it just sounds like they reached out to the USTA to help fund the expansion. Sure, I don't like women's tennis as much either, but men's tennis fans are going to have to get used to combined events. They seem to be the hot new thing these days in professional tennis.

The Pilot Pen is fan friendly - looking forward to going in a couple of weeks. :yeah: Really love that tournament. It's smaller and not a lot of big names, but really enjoyable to watch tennis there. Inexpensive tickets, food is great, the kids love that play area, and the main stadium is wonderful. Although Yale could update the outer court seats a bit more - the old green bleachers are just a tad outdated. They have more money than God, but you could never tell. ;) :lol:

But sorry the US Open is anything but fan friendly. I've been to many tournaments, and while they aren't the worse (Toronto is), the US Open is right there at the bottom. And I'm also a big sports fan as a whole - been to baseball, football, racing, hockey events, and never do I feel as unwelcome as I do at the US Open.

Fan friendly to me is the way kids are treated, the ease in getting into courts, the ease of watching practices, ticket prices, food costs, the way staff treats the fans.

Cincy gets A++++'s in all those areas.

As for the US Open...they get C's, D's, and quite frankly, F's in most of those areas. let's talk about the lines just to get in, the security guards who make you feel like a criminal, those asshole ushers, the now difficulty in getting into Armstrong, the difficulty watching some of the smaller outer courts, the fact that they oversell Grounds Passes to the point you can't move some days. And let's not forget that monstrosity Arthur Ashe stadium that should be leveled with a more appropriate sized court without all those box seats that keep the real fans from getting within a mile of watching good tennis in the main stadium. Nice to have main stadium with a roof too. How about ticket prices? Up and up and up and less access to courts. You can't afford to bring kids to that event unless you are wealthy....and you'll note there aren't many kids at the event - certainly not like at Cincy which seems to be overrun with kids (which is a good thing). And I always love Practice Day (said sarcastically) - with no schedule of which players are coming out on which courts, it's more a Marathon Day of running back and forth between courts.

And the USTA puts the money back into the game? Sorry but you confusing them putting money back into the game with putting money back into renovations at the National Tennis Center that only benefit the top tier attendees at the US Open. Ever try calling the USTA to find leagues? :lol: Hmmm, I have many times and unhelpful is the only way to describe the experience. And I can add to that calling about a class to learn about becoming a linesperson - that was a joke - two months waiting and no one gets back to me until the night before the event. :lol:

krystlel
08-05-2008, 12:47 PM
If they are separate (though considered combined) but back to back events like Rome is I will be happier
I agree. I hope the back-to-back event information is true (I had previously thought it was a mixed event played at the same time). It would just be incredibly annoying if it was mixed because it'd be like having half the matches to choose from and judging from reports of the other outside courts, looks like there's no chance of those being televised.

myrt
08-05-2008, 01:25 PM
Attendance this year in Cincy for the men's event topped 170,000. Ticket prices are the lowest of the MS events.I have enjoyed this tourny for three years in a row and hate to think it may be combined with the womens...but why else would they invest 20 million unless it's to expand the facility to accomodate a joint event?

smitty8
08-05-2008, 02:08 PM
You're absolutely right, but at the same time to be honest I just don't want WTA at Cincy. Don't want it anywhere near :yeah:
For my money Cincy is absolutely PERFECT as it is.

Agreed. I don't want the WTA anywhere near when the guys are there.
It's a great event for the price. I paid about $500 for Loge seats for the week, which is about the price I pay for a box seat in Washington. This was my first trip to Cincy and I will for sure be going back, it was great.

cobalt60
08-06-2008, 02:30 AM
What're the ticket prices to Cincy?

Last year I only did separate day sessions for a seat in the upper tier ( there is not a bad seat in the house IMO) $15 for qualies, $30 for days 1-3 ? 4 but I had gone by then. In 2005 although I was not staying the whole week I bought a week pass for about $275 or so. That included day and night sessions and parking close to the gate. It was much higher in 2007 but I can't remember exactly how much.

Fee
08-06-2008, 05:07 AM
Agreed. I don't want the WTA anywhere near when the guys are there.
It's a great event for the price. I paid about $500 for Loge seats for the week, which is about the price I pay for a box seat in Washington. This was my first trip to Cincy and I will for sure be going back, it was great.

Woman, you need to come to Indian Wells one of these years. So does the good doctor who posted below you (and hopefully, I can be there at the same time). :)

Eclectic Goddess
08-06-2008, 05:31 AM
This is not my happy face.

They've been talking about combining the events for a couple years now, and what concerns me most is that no one seems to know how it's going to work. I have been asking since before this year's tournament began, and I keep getting, "We don't know." While I was there last week I asked again, and was again told that they have no idea what next year's schedule or ticket prices will be. It's likely that the men's seniors will be dropped, and that I will be forced to buy series tickets for both events if I want to go to the qualifier weekend, as next year they will be overlapping with the women's final weekend.

It's a relief to know that the Florys will still be running the tournament, because they've done a great job up to now, but how long will that last if the USTA wants to change things?