http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2011/12/Features/Atlanta-New-Tournament-Site-Atlantic-Station.aspxATLANTA TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2012
Atlanta Selects Atlantic Station As New Event Site
by Press Release
The Atlanta Tennis Championships announced Monday the signing of Atlantic Station as its tournament site under a multi-year partnership. The agreement brings the world’s top tennis players from the ATP World Tour to a central, high-traffic area of Atlanta. Next year’s tournament will run July 14-22 – the third year the event has been played in the Atlanta area – and is the opening event of the Olympus US Open Series season.
Located in the vibrant Midtown Atlanta corridor, Atlantic Station is the national model for smart growth and sustainable development. The thriving complex combines an attractive mix of affordable, middle-income and up-scale housing and commercial office space with world-class restaurants, theaters and retailers. The in-town setting framed by the Atlanta skyline will create one of the most unique and electrifying tournament settings in the history of the ATP World Tour.
To transform Atlantic Station into the Atlanta Tennis Championships site, a minimum of three competition and three practice tennis courts will be built on the 138-acre site. Central Park, located in the middle of Atlantic Station, will be the site of Center Court. A hard court will be laid down with two large grandstands on the sides built to accommodate more than 4,000 fans. Two other competition courts will be built only a block away adjacent to I-75 & I-85 within view of downtown Atlanta and with exposure to over 500,000 vehicles per day.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring the Atlanta Tennis Championships into the heart of the Midtown Atlanta,” said Bob Bryant, Tournament Director.
“Atlantic Station is the ultimate location that brings together a thriving entertaining city atmosphere with some of the world’s best tennis. Giving Atlantans an opportunity to experience 140-mph serves indicative of today’s powerful and athletic men’s game while also being able to see the city buildings and skyline is an awesome combination. We could not ask for better partners than the City of Atlanta and Atlantic Station”
“The Atlanta Tennis Championships have now come to the South’s premier city and I couldn’t be more pleased for the citizens of Atlanta and surrounding metro community,” Mayor Kasim Reed said. “Atlantic Station is a perfect location for this outstanding summer event and it provides access with convenient parking and nearby MARTA for the thousands of tennis players in our city. This event brings a significant economic impact to Midtown Atlanta and exciting entertainment for us all.”
“It is very exciting that the USTA and ATP chose Atlantic Station as the new site for the tournament and for years in the future,” said North American Properties Managing Partner Mark Toro. “Atlantic Station is a premier retail, residential, commercial and entertainment hub that will greatly benefit from this world class event as well as provide many options for fans and visitors. There’s ample parking on-site and the Arts Center Marta Station is nearby to give fans an additional transportation option. We look forward to hosting a truly exciting event that fans will look forward to every year.”
For more information about the event, please go to the official Atlanta Tennis Championships website here.
01-02-2012, 05:48 PM
2012 is off to a very good start for me after hearing this news!
This is one of the smartest things I've seen the Atlanta tennis scene do in a long time. The location is relatively central for Atlanta (Atlanta is insanely spread out, so you do the best you can) and will reach a broader audience than the previous tournaments held up in Johns Creek (snooty suburbia).
Atlantic Station has had it's criticism in the past, but it's close to the Airport, close to all Atlanta Urban areas, has Hotels/Shopping/Food/Entertainment, has parking and has subway close by. The Australian Open has a pretty urban vibe and now the Atlanta Tournament will also so that should be interesting.
04-23-2012, 11:31 PM
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2012/04/Features/Atlanta-New-Title-Sponsor.aspxBB&T ATLANTA OPEN 2012
Atlanta Gains New Title Sponsor BB&T
by Press Release
The BB&T Atlanta Open will be held at Atlantic Station July 14-22 and is the first men’s event in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The player field is slated to include former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, current world No. 11 John Isner, young rising American star Jack Sock and an international contingent including current world No. 17 Kei Nishikori, Japan’s highest ranking male player in the Open Era, and current world No. 32 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
“A solid sponsorship base is critical to the sustainable success of a professional tennis event in the Atlanta market,” stated Tournament Director Bob Bryant. “In BB&T, we gained a sponsor and a true partner in supporting this event and the avid Atlanta tennis community. We could not have found a better partner and look forward to BB&T’s active participation in the efforts of USTA Southern and the BB&T Atlanta Open.”
The partnership terms are for a minimum of three years and include official sponsorship of the USTA Southern Section, which represents approximately 25 percent of the national USTA membership. A study by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the BB&T Atlanta Open economic impact on the city to exceed $10.3 million. The tournament is broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, as well as globally via several international broadcasters. American Mardy Fish, a top 10 ATP World Tour player, has won the last two Atlanta tournaments facing Isner in the final both times. The tournament has also featured collegiate players from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State.
“We are excited to partner with the Atlanta ATP World Tour event and look forward to supporting tennis in Atlanta for years to come,” said Brant Standridge, regional president of BB&T North Atlanta region. “The Atlanta market is very important to BB&T and this investment is a perfect fit. We believe our local community focus truly differentiates us from other banks. This is a significant event for Midtown Atlanta, and with our regional headquarters in Atlantic Station, we are ideally suited to participate in a marquis attraction for the area.”
USTA Southern President and BB&T Atlanta Open Tournament Chairman Mike McNulty said, “As we grow tennis in the South, our section’s partnership with BB&T is a major move forward in our nine-state section. BB&T is a major financial institution in six of those states. This is a win-win-win as the section and the tournament both get a new partner.”
The BB&T Atlanta Open is moving from previous suburban Atlanta locations to the heart of Midtown Atlanta for the first year of a multi-year partnership with Atlantic Station as the new host site. The tournament will be played on three new competition courts and three new practice courts being built on the site.
The 3,600-seat stadium court will be visible from I-75/I-85, offering an outstanding view of the Atlanta skyline. This is one of the few outdoor tournaments ever to be held in the middle of a city on the entire ATP World Tour. Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development featuring 12 restaurants, 30 retailers and a movie theater complex. Play begins with qualifying rounds on July 14 and 15 and first round main draw matches begin July 16.
The BB&T Atlanta Open is moving from previous suburban Atlanta locations to the heart of Midtown Atlanta for the first year of a multi-year partnership with Atlantic Station as the new host site. The tournament will be played on three new competition courts and three new practice courts being built on the site. The 3,600-seat stadium court will be visible from I-75/I-85, offering an outstanding view of the Atlanta skyline. This is one of the few outdoor tournaments ever to be held in the middle of a city on the entire ATP World Tour. Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development featuring 12 restaurants, 30 retailers and a movie theater complex. Play begins with qualifying rounds on July 14 and 15 and first round main draw matches begin July 16.
Weeklong tickets are available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com. Individual tickets will be available after May 1.
07-22-2012, 03:53 PM
The New York Times
July 20, 2012
Tennis Gets an Uptown Updating in Atlanta
By MIKE TIERNEY
ATLANTA — Wearing tennis whites, Gilles Muller stood on the corner of 19th Street NW and East District Avenue, a few doors down from a 16-screen cineplex, earlier this week. Heels on the pavement, Muller situated the balls of his feet on a curb that bordered a red brick sidewalk and stretched.
Then he strolled a short block past a yogurt establishment, turned the corner occupied by a nail salon and, within minutes, was warming up on the stadium court for his first match of the BB&T Atlanta Open.
In the annals of top-tier tennis, there have rarely been settings quite like the one at this ATP event, which is being held through Sunday at Atlantic Station, an upscale retail, office and residential complex just north of the city center that is billed as the nation’s most expansive brownfield redevelopment.
A Disney theme park aura prevails — litter-free streets, Frank Sinatra and show tunes spilling from camouflaged speakers, signs galore. Players emerge from the locker room and limber up while dodging shoppers toting Victoria’s Secret bags on their way to see “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
During matches, players can peer up at high-rises close enough to cast a shadow on the main two hardcourts while cocking an ear to the whir of nearby traffic on a highway interchange that absorbs 560,000 vehicles daily.
“Nothing ever like this, particularly in an urban environment,” said the tournament director Bob Bryant, who persuaded the United States Tennis Association and the ATP to approve the site.
The players, including the top Americans Mardy Fish, John Isner and Andy Roddick, seemed to have the same four-letter endorsement: cool.
“This is pretty cool,” Roddick told Bryant after arriving last weekend.
“It’s cool,” said Fish, who had to retire from a second-round match against Muller with a sprained ankle. “I don’t think we’ve played in a parking lot before. It’s a beautiful stadium, a cool setting.”
After his opening-round win, Jack Sock said, “With the cool venue, it’s kind of a special tournament, unlike others.”
Roddick had worried that the imposing buildings might serve as a distraction but said he barely noticed them once the ball was served. He found the in-stadium sight lines normal, allaying another concern.
“In order for tennis to grow, we have to look at it from the fans’ perspective,” Roddick said. “This is outside the box.”
Mike McNulty, president of U.S.T.A. Southern, said some players who were afforded a sneak peek at the site encouraged a few others who were not planning to play the event to enter the qualifying tournament.
In its two previous years, the tournament was tucked away in separate country club environments on the northern arc, the core of Atlanta’s tennis community. The city fancies itself as the capital of grass-roots and adult-league tennis, but its legions of participants seemed disinclined to go watch the pros. The tournament’s nomadic ways did not help to advance awareness.
Bryant sensed that plunking the matches into this milieu would create a buzz, luring the curious along with the die-hards. Having honed his event-promoting chops with the Ringling Bros. circus, he had no trouble envisioning tennis with an unusual backdrop.
After viewing the grounds on Google Earth, Bryant was convinced that the requisite six courts, half of them for practice, could be accommodated. The players’ lounge in its former life was a children’s playhouse, the media center a sports bar and grill.
Atlantic Station was agreeable under previous management, but room and cost issues proved prohibitive. With an ownership change in late 2010, the bustling mixed-use layout, which is a home or workplace for 10,000 people, decided to hitch its marketing efforts to the tournament.
By happy coincidence, one of the towers overlooking Atlantic Station housed the area offices for BB&T, a banking services company. Aware that its huge sign would be noticed by every attendee, the company signed on as a title sponsor.
Initially, the sport’s authorities were chilly to the idea, beginning with the U.S.T.A. The daunting task of retrofitting Atlantic Station for tennis gave rise to doubts.
“We’d have to reinvent the wheel here,” McNulty said.
But McNulty, the U.S.T.A., and the ATP were ultimately converted.
The original architectural design placed the main court in the scenic, if cramped, courtyard. Sacrificing aesthetics, the organizers shifted the main court to a roomier area for a seating capacity of 3,612. The new space wound up meeting a higher ticket demand than at first forecast, offered a glimpse of the city skyline and provided a “giant billboard,” as Bryant put it, to the endless parade of interstate cars. Mark Young, the ATP Americas chief executive, even imagined motorists swinging by after noticing the stadium from the highway.
Rain, normally the bane of an outdoor tournament’s existence, has been a welcome invader, at least to the complex’s owners. Weather-related delays have driven some ticket-holders into stores and eateries, with time to kill and debit cards to swipe. The contract calls for four more years at Atlantic Station. For now, where else can a player zip up his bag after a match and, in no time, be sitting down for a pedicure or a double feature?
Tennis promoters and officials, near and far, will stay tuned in. Bryant said, “They might look at this as, ‘Where else might this model work?’ ”