SBD/Issue 192/Events & Attractions

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  • Wimbledon Posts Attendance Record For Each Of First Two Days

    Wimbledon's Crowd Of 45,955 Tuesday
    Breaks Monday's All-Time Attendance Record
    Wimbledon "set new records for ticket sales on both of its first two days," according to Mattias Karen of the AP. Monday's attendance of 42,811, an "all-time record and increase of nearly 3,500 people from the previous opening-day mark" set in '01, was bettered yesterday by an attendance of 45,955. The previous all-time best had been an attendance of 42,457 for the first Wednesday of the '02 tournament, and "more than 14,000 people lined up in the ticket queue Monday -- up by about 1,600 from last year." Tournament organizers do not release figures for pre-tournament ticket requests, but they said that they "received about 20[%] more than last year." Meanwhile, Karen noted in another "sign of financial strength," the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) "recently sold out 2,500 Centre Court seats in five-year blocks" for $45,850 (all figures U.S.) each. Buyers "have the right to one reserved seat on Centre Court for every day of the tournament between the years 2011-15." The AELTC said the five-year debentures, which sold out in May, were "significantly oversubscribed," raising a total of $98.3M. However, "not even Wimbledon is pretending to be immune to the outside financial climate." AELTC spokesperson Johnny Perkins said the organization has an "ability to ride out a recession, perhaps better than some other organizations that may have taken a more short-term view of things. ... A premier event like Wimbledon has a hold on people's emotions" (AP, 6/23). ESPN's Jay Crawford: "Apparently, Wimbledon fans did not get the memo on the global recession" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/23). Meanwhile, ESPN's Jeremy Schaap as part of a series taking a look at sports and the economy noted "even more than the U.S., Great Britain's feeling the effects of the global downturn." However, the players at Wimbledon "won't feel the consequences. Total prize money is up 6.2% from 2008" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 6/23).

    RAISE THE ROOF: ESPN's Patrick McEnroe pointed out the new retractable roof above Centre Court during Andy Roddick's first round match against Jeremy Chardy and said, "No need for that new retractable roof, absolutely stunning weather today." McEnroe: "According to the forecast, the first hint of rain could be Saturday. The poor roof up there is going to be sitting there dormant. They spent all this money on it" ("Wimbledon," ESPN, 6/23). Venus Williams said, "We haven’t had to use it yet. It’s kind of ironic. But I’m very sure it will get some use” (USA TODAY, 6/24). CBSSPORTS.com's Art Spander wrote under the header, "Murphy's Law For Wimbledon: New Roof Keeps Rain Away." Spander: "What's Wimbledon but grass courts, strawberries and cream and rain? Except the first two days of Wimbledon 2009, the skies have been cloudless" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/23).

    WATCHFUL EYE: Online bookmaker Betfair confirmed that it has "alerted tennis authorities about unusual betting patterns" during yesterday's Jurgen Melzer-Wayne Odesnik match. Betfair said that the "flood of wagers on Jurgen Melzer" during his straight-sets first-round victory was "very visible." There is "no suggestion of wrongdoing, but the company has informed the Tennis Integrity Unity, which is expected to look into the game to determine whether the patterns were sinister or simply reflected fans' judgment" (LONDON TIMES, 6/24).

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  • PGA Tour To Keep The Barclays In New Jersey Through 2011

    Ridgewood Country Club Will
    Host The Barclays In '10
    The PGA Tour today announced that Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, and Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, will host The Barclays in '10 and '11, respectively. The Barclays, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs, will be held at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City this year (PGA Tour). In Newark, Brendan Prunty notes The Barclays had been held at Westchester Country Club in New York for 40 years before moving to Ridgewood in '08, and the PGA Tour's agreement calls for it to return to Westchester "at least once by 2012," though there is "no word on whether that will be the case." Ridgewood as part of its new deal with the Tour also is slated to host the tournament from '13-15. PGA Tour players "raved about Ridgewood's layout, design and feel" after the '08 event, and "many stated their desire to make it a regular home" on the FedEx Cup schedule. Plainfield currently has a one-event deal to host The Barclays in '11, but club President Bob McTamaney hopes "that will change" after the event (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 6/24).

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  • Wegmans LPGA Event's Return After This Season In Doubt

    Whether the Wegmans LPGA event, which takes place this week at Locust Hill CC in New York, will be coming back for a 34th year in '10 is a question that "no one ... can answer right now," according to Sal Maiorana of the Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE. While LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens has said contract talks are "productive and moving forward," the "cost of doing business with the LPGA is rising, and there is a palpable fear that smaller markets such as Rochester could get priced out of the LPGA, which is what happened" to the Corning Classic. Wegmans, a regional supermarket chain, is "responsible for the bulk of the tournament costs," though it "gets some help in the form of corporate support, ticket sales and merchandise sales." But thanks to the "continually sagging economy that has created sponsorship problems in all sports, some of that support has dwindled and [Wegmans] is stretched to the limit in its effort to make money for the tournament's new benefiting charity, Graduation is the Goal." While talks about the tournament's future "have been scarce," Bivens "expressed confidence that despite the economy the LPGA and Wegmans will find a way to make things work for both sides and Rochester will continue on as one of the tour's longest-running tournaments." Still, LPGA players are "rightfully nervous about losing tournaments due to sponsorship withdrawals," despite "exuding unwavering confidence in Bivens that her branding plan is going to lift the LPGA to new heights" (Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/23).

    TIME TO WORK THINGS OUT: In Rochester, Bob Matthews writes it "would be a mistake" not to renew the tournament. Matthews: "The mere thought that the LPGA Tour is outgrowing Rochester is ridiculous, particularly in the current economic climate. Maybe the LPGA Tour should think about making concessions instead of increasing demands. I believe the LPGA Tour needs Rochester more than Rochester needs the LPGA Tour" (Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 6/24).

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