SBD/August 27, 2012/Events and Attractions

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  • Lack Of Stars, Low Attendance Becomming "New Normal" For WTA New Haven Open

    This year's New Haven Open drew 52,972 spectators, compared to 55,554 in '11

    The WTA New Haven Open at Yale "will do everything in its power to continue to promote the off-court activities and amenities and keep its fingers crossed that it will be enough to keep this tournament viable for a long time to come," according to Chris Elsberry of the STAMFORD ADVOCATE. Tournament Dir Anne Worcester called low attendance and lack of stars the "new normal." Elsberry wrote, "Normal in the sense that the current mega-stars of the sport ... will simply not come to the Connecticut Tennis Center anymore. Normal in the sense that the attendance figures will continue to be what they have been for the last couple of years. No better. No worse." The tournament had "only four of the top 10 players and none of the big names," and it "struggled to match its attendance numbers from last year (52,972 compared to 55,554)." Worcester said, "I'm not surprised. This week is what it is. We're not going to attract a Serena Williams or a Maria Sharapova, although I will never stop trying. And in this day and age, when it's so hard to get people off their couch to go to an outdoor sports or entertainment event, I think (getting) 55,000 spectators is very respectable. I think this is the new normal." She added, "I guess we just have to get used to a new normal and make sure the financials work, so your sponsorship revenues and your ticket revenues have to more than cover your expenses" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 8/26).

    GONE TO CAROLINA: In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell noted John Isner "won an 11-9 tiebreaker to repeat" as winner at the ATP World Tour Winston-Salem Open. Isner, a Greensboro, N.C. native, is "now 10-0 in the tournament just miles from his family home." The stands "around center court hold approximately 4,400." Seemingly "4,000 or more were family or friends" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/26).

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