SBD/August 8, 2014/Events and Attractions

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  • Rogers Cup Seeing Record Attendance Numbers Despite Bouchard's Early Exit

    Players like Maria Sharapova have helped attendance numbers top 175,000

    The WTA Rogers Cup in Montreal is "expected to break attendance records despite some unexpected challenges during the first few days," according to Kamakshi Tandon of TENNIS magazine. Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who has been "driving ticket sales with her ascent into the Top 10, fell in her opening match on Tuesday, and the tournament experienced power outages on Tuesday and Wednesday along with a few rain delays." Even without Bouchard, the "traditionally well-attended event in Montreal is expected to pull crowds." Tournament Dir Eugene Lapierre said, "We have already broke the record of 175,000 spectators for the week. So now it will be up to the other great world players to make the show." He added, "Financially we have already hit our target actually yesterday." The men's tournament also is "seeing the effect of Canadian success on the tour this season." The "local favorite in Toronto, Milos Raonic, won his opening match in three tight sets, though second-ranked Canadian Vasek Pospisil fell in the first round" (TENNIS.com, 8/7).

    MIXING IT UP: In Cincinnati, Shannon Russell noted the Western & Southern Open has "undergone massive changes in recent years, from becoming a prestigious combined event for the men's and women's tours to implementing" a three-year, $22M expansion at the Lindner Family Tennis Center near Cincinnati. But "things just keep getting better for the tournament's spectators." This year, event officials have "ramped up the fun for the anticipated 187,000-plus fans." Tournament Dir Vince Cicero said that "additions -- like free Wi-Fi in the food court, a Mixed Zone where fans can watch player interviews and a Sunglass Hut Shades of Greatness Selfie Wall -- are designed to maximize fans' entertainment." Russell noted this "particular Mixed Zone setup is a first in tournament circles" and the W&S Open is "taking it a step further by allowing fans to watch the exchanges in the breezeway near the player entrance." Social media interaction is the "main component of the Raise the Cup trophy area by the UC Health Match Point video wall," where fans are "invited to take pictures of themselves with an enlarged image of the W&S Open Cup and Tweet the images" with the hashtag #raisethecup. But perhaps the "most noticeable addition to the grounds is a statue" of longtime W&S Open Dir Paul Flory. The bronze figure, which will be dedicated at 4:30pm ET Sunday, is "one of the first things fans will see when they enter the main gate." The grounds "feature a newly constructed brick-and-mortar" Michelob Ultra Legends Bar and the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Garden "is back" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/7).

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