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Volume 24 No. 160

Events and Attractions

The ATP Tour yesterday approved an $800,000 prize money increase for the BNP Paribas Open on March 4-17 “after initially turning down the proposal during the board meeting in November,” according to Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. The total prize money for the men’s draw “will increase to approximately $5[M] and the tournament’s total financial commitment to the men’s draw will be $6 million.” The WTA Tour “approved its prize money increase in December with little fanfare.” Had the ATP “not approved the increase, the WTA wouldn’t have their prize increase because the sanction for the BNP Paribas Open requires equal prize money.” The ATP in voting against the raise said that the increase “would have violated its prize money distribution formula.” The BNP Paribas Open a year ago “had a similar $800,000 prize money increase that was distributed solely to the quarterfinal winners on up.” The tournament, while it “offered equal prize money to both the men and women, wanted the distribution to be equal as well.” BNP Paribas Open CEO Raymond Moore “threatened that if the prize money increase wasn’t approved, he would revert to the 2011 prize money, which would be the minimum” (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 2/21).