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BNP Paribas Open CEO Calls ATP Decision To Not Increase Tourney's Purse "Bizarre"
Published February 12, 2013
WAKE & SEE APPROACH: In North Carolina, Owen Covington reported the ATP Winston-Salem Open, which is part of the Emirates U.S. Open Series, will "feature a new center tennis stadium for this year's tournament." The change is "expected to provide less crowded seating areas while bringing more fans closer to the court." A temporary 4,300-seat stadium will "encircle center court adjacent to Wake Forest University's BB&T Field." It is "another step toward eventually building a permanent tennis stadium at the site." Tournament Dir Bill Oakes said that "permanent stadiums comparable to what is expected in Winston-Salem" cost $15-25M. Oakes said, "That is still our plan, but the good part is we think in the short term that we've found a really good solution." Covington noted that "solution" was from Switzerland-based stadium construction firm Nussli. After Oakes visited Nussli HQs last month, the Winston-Salem event "signed a multiyear, long-term lease" for the temporary stadium. WFU Associate AD Mike Buddie said that the university is not "actively pursuing plans to fund a permanent stadium." Covington notes with the event on WFU's property, some agreement with the university would be "necessary for the stadium to be built there" (TRIAD BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/8 issue).