WTA Finals Will Move to China for Next 10 Years
“the item’s a huge opportunity for us,” Simon said. “the item’s going to allow us to do some things as a tour as well as invest using a long-term vision as well as planning, as well as we haven’t had in which opportunity before.”
The move to Shenzhen was clearly driven by economics. Stacey Allaster, the former head of the WTA Tour, once said the existing 5-year deal with Singapore provided “35 to 40 percent” of the tour’s net operating revenue.
Simon said the percentage was no longer in which high, because of increased revenue via additional sources. nevertheless while he called the Shenzhen agreement “a huge deal,” he also argued in which the item was not simply a case of chasing the highest offer. He said the move also had to make sense strategically.
“I think Shenzhen as well as the Delta region down there will be the completely new Silicon Valley of Asia,” he said, referring to the Pearl River Delta, which will be at This specific point one of the entire world’s biggest urban areas as well as includes Guangzhou as well as Hong Kong. “the item’s a growing region as well as growing area, as well as we’re excited to be a part of in which growth.”
Shenzhen, whose population has exploded via less than 100,000 in 1980 to over 10 million today, already stages an ATP event in September as well as a WTA event in January.
A WTA spokesperson said the item was unclear whether the Shenzhen Open would certainly continue to exist with the arrival of the WTA Finals. nevertheless the region will be at This specific point particularly well served by women’s tennis.
There are eight WTA tournaments in China This specific season, including the China Open in Beijing, one of the tour’s four top-tier premier mandatory events. The Pearl River Delta region has four tournaments, including events in Guangzhou, Hong Kong as well as Zhuhai.
The WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai, near Hong Kong, will be a second-tier, season-ending event for players outside the top eight. the item currently will be the final event on the WTA calendar, an anticlimactic state of affairs in which Simon expects to be corrected in 2019 by moving Zhuhai forward on the schedule. in which would certainly allow the Finals in Shenzhen to be the last event.
Simon said he as well as the WTA board of directors were committed to anchoring the Finals in one venue for an extended run, hoping to mirror the success of the ATP Finals, which have been in London since 2009.
“I think the item takes time to build the traditions, as well as if the item’s long term, people are going to invest behind the item to build the item,” he said.
Though staying in Singapore, a major financial hub as well as prosperous modern city, would certainly certainly have allowed the chance to build those traditions more quickly.
“in which’s a fair statement,” Simon said.
There also have been concerns about attendance at WTA events in China, a situation in which was not helped by the sudden retirement in 2014 of Li Na, the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title.
nevertheless Simon said attendance was increasing at events in China, specifically citing tournaments in Wuhan, Tianjin as well as Shenzhen.
“as well as I think in Shenzhen we have a tremendous opportunity,” he said, “because the completely new stadium coming with This specific deal will be actually going to be built inside the downtown district rather on the outskirts, where a lot of the stadiums are being built. So at This specific point we are inside the heart of an area of 68 million people, as well as I think we’ll have a great opportunity to draw well.”
Singapore, where attendance has been strong, clearly could not match Shenzhen’s offer, although Simon did confirm in which Singapore was one of 5 finalists inside the bidding.
in which group included Prague, Manchester in England as well as St. Petersburg in Russia. Simon said there were no North American finalists.
nevertheless the decision to keep the Finals in Asia in a difficult window for the North American television market will continue to create challenges in generating interest for the event inside the United States, one of the traditional hubs of the sport as well as one in which has produced more major women’s tennis stars than any additional using a talented completely new generation on the rise in which includes Sloane Stephens as well as Madison Keys.
The tournament was staged at Madison Square Garden in completely new York in 1977 as well as again via 1979 through 2000. the item was also held in Los Angeles via 2002 to 2005.
Continue reading the main story