NBA expands Christmas games ads Supercross revs up after big gains NFL toughens up on fan ejections Suspensions come with no cap relief League OKs Falcons' record debt request For Brosnan, a legacy of innovation Manfred fills out his roster Legal experts wary of NFL’s conduct plan Allaster’s 2013 pay leads tennis execs MLBAM opens new office near AT&T Park
SBJ/March 17-23, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Tennis league CEO: Answers on ownership coming soon
Published March 17, 2014, Page 9
Deep doubts still exist within tennis circles, though, as to whether the league — a brainchild of player Mahesh Bhupathi — will come off, in large part because the owners of the four franchises have not been named, and no commercial arrangements have been announced other than TV backer MP & Silva. Add to the skepticism the contention that $23 million has been committed to the players for their participation, a fairly staggering sum that represents nearly as much as is paid out by a Grand Slam event.
Staff writer Daniel Kaplan caught up last week with the CEO of the league, Morgan Menahem, who discussed the plans from Dubai via Skype.
■ Who are the owners?
MENAHEM: They are corporations, individuals in each of the four cities. They will be announced at some point, and it will be up to them to communicate.
■ Why are they not public now?
MENAHEM: It will become public. Those guys can do it themselves or they can do it through us. It will be a couple weeks before everything is put on the table. We’ve had extensive meetings with the owners; we had the owners at the draft. These people have been in front of me; they are real.
■ When do tickets go on sale?
■ Could the league ultimately be described as a high-profile exhibition?
MENAHEM: We are trying to avoid the word “exhibition.” For us, there is a competition factor because people want to see real tennis. It is just a different format.
■ When will the players be paid?
MENAHEM: The final package for the players is 20/40/40: 20 percent within two months of the draft, 40 percent a week before, and 40 percent at the end of the season.