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NET RESULTS: THE U.S. OPEN IS THE PLACE TO BE -- AND BE SEEN
Published August 28, 1998
The U.S. Open "has become the social and sporting event of the New York summer scene, generating a whopping $130 million in revenue and broadcasts in 175 countries," according to Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Fatsis: "But don't be fooled. Outside the Open's opulent new stadium, U.S. tennis is still fighting to reclaim its glory days of the 1970s. Even with a new spark in popularity for the women's circuit, pro tennis is stuck in the qualifying rounds of big-league sports." Many industry execs say that part of the "problem" is that tennis "remains fractured," as the USTA runs the U.S. Open, while other events on the ATP and WTA Tours are independently owned and operated. One of the other problems is "simply too much tennis," as too many tournaments fight over the top players. But both the men's and women's tours "say they're trying to reform themselves, and work out better deals with the networks and cable" TV. Fatsis: "Without consistent national TV exposure, advertisers don't see a reason to put money anywhere in tennis but the prestigious Grand Slam events." CBS Sports President Sean McManus adds that there "hasn't been a strong enough advertiser base." But at the U.S. Open, "such concerns couldn't be further from center court." Advantage Int'l President Phillip de Picciotto: "The Open is a showcase. The scale is just grander than it's ever been. And the public has responded" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/28). LOVE ON THE STREETS IN THE TOWN OF NEW HAVEN: At the women's Pilot Pen Int'l in New Haven, announced attendance for the first four days was 27,140. Through the first three days, the announced attendance of 20,507 was more than the men's tournament drew in its first three day and night sessions last week. But in Hartford, Greg Garber writes that while the event is doing well "on paper," there "seems ... to be a sizable gap between the announced attendance and the actual number of people in the seats" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28). Also in Hartford, Lori Riley profiles former WTA Tour CEO Anne Worcester, who now runs APW Sports and is a consultant to the women's event (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/28).