LA tourney sold - what a shame.

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Paul Murphy, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Paul Murphy

    Paul Murphy Hall of Fame

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    What a pity to have a hardcourt tournament replaced by clay.
    The decline of tennis in the US from the heady days of the 1980s is also alarming.

    From tennis.com:


    The 86-year-old ATP tournament in Los Angeles is in the process of being sold to a group for Bogota, Colombia, TENNIS.com has confirmed.

    The NY Times' Chris Clarey and USA Today's Doug Robson first reported the story.

    Owned by the Southern California Tennis Association, the event claims to have lost money for the past four years. The tournament, which was held at UCLA and called the Farmers Classic for the past three years, was unable to sign its two major sponsors for 2013. In the last two years, the ATP 250-level tournament tried to attract fans without paying appearance fees to star players, but was unsuccessful in doing so.

    Like the recently sold ATP tournament in San Jose, California, the L.A. tournament struggled after the retirement of popular U.S. stars Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, and Michael Chang. The tournament was unable to consistently recruit 2003 U.S. Open champion Andy Roddick and was never able to convince the sport’s two biggest draws, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, to come to the U.S. so soon after Wimbledon. The event has been played in late July.

    The USTA has no current plans to try and replace the event. Next year, it is scheduled to be played the week of July 22, alongside European clay-court events in Umag and Gstaad. It is scheduled in between U.S. Open Series tournaments in Atlanta and Washington, DC. It is possible that the Bogota group is simply buying the tournament sanction, and will look for another place on the calendar to hold the event, possibly in February when the other Latin American tournaments take place.

    Los Angeles’ demise will mean that California, which once hosted four ATP tournaments annually, will be down to one: Indian Wells, a combined men’s and women’s tournament held in March. In 1980, there were 36 ATP tournaments played in the U.S. Next year, there will only be 13. In 2014, unless a new tournament comes in, there will only be 12, as San Jose will move to Brazil.
     
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  2. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    wait 13 next year? 1 slam, 3 ms ,memphis, wash., houston, Salem , atlanta, newport, sj, what other 2
     
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  3. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    tennis is a changing bayyyybeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
     
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  4. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    I'm available to play if they need big names.
     
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  5. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Gasquet will be happy.
     
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  6. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Is this the one that used to be owned/run/promoted by Jack Kramer back in the day?
     
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  7. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    its going to be a clay tourney ???...hmmmmm..

    mr nadal is looking for some extra clay events to replace his HC ones.
     
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  8. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Bummer for Querrey as he's won 3 times.
     
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  9. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    No big name American players on the tour means significantly worse and less glamorous playing fields, more difficulty in attracting an sponsors and less revenue for the smaller American tournaments.

    It is sad that two events with such a long and rich history, San Jose and LA, will soon be no more though. At the start of the open era, LA use to be a very big tournament which the likes of Laver, Pancho Gonzales and Connors all took seriously. San Jose was the 4th oldest tournament still on the tour after Wimbledon, the US Open and Canada.
     
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  10. jepriy

    jepriy New User

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    So bummed about this. First SJ now LA.
     
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  11. surfvland

    surfvland Semi-Pro

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    Wow, I've been attending this tourney since the days when Johnny Carson used to attend. Sad time for tennis in California indeed.
     
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  12. Pickle9

    Pickle9 Semi-Pro

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    Delray Beach and 13 is counting LA for next year
     
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  13. Lips

    Lips Semi-Pro

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    sad to hear..but it seemed like the last few years they couldn't give away tickets...saw blake/stepenak final in 09...i think.. and the place wasn't even half full..
     
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  14. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    sad indeed...isn't LA the start of the US Open series?
     
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  15. CCNM

    CCNM Hall of Fame

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    Only one tournament will be played in California? That's surprising....
     
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  16. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    What?!? No Framers Classic! I was going to go next year!:evil:
     
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  17. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    Either that or Atlanta
     
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  18. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    it's been Atlanta the last few years hasn't it? I seem to recall the absurd schedule of Atlanta to LA and then back to D.C. in subsequent weeks. That flight across the country probably doesn't help matters for the L.A. tourney to draw players. They always had difficulty drawing Roddick and Isner usually skips it too. They'd get Cali guys like Fish and Querrey and that's pretty much it in this era.
     
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  19. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    usa usa usa still has 2 majors though I expect only Cincy will remain in a few years
     
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  20. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    The only guy smiling about this is Nadal. The Bogota Group is secretly owned by Tony.

    Eliminated South African Open, Serbia Open( Clay....but since it is from the Arrogant Serb family), and Los Angeles.

    Possibly the next one is Chennai....for obvious reasons.
    ---------------

    On a serious note.....it pretty sad that this event will dissapear. II think Sampras and Agassi have done well here. It had some serious pedigree of slam champions on it's winner list.

    Maybe if they could relocate in Feburary.
     
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  21. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Nobody really attended this tournament but americans who felt obligated to attend any domestic event. You would see Roddick, Isner and Fish, Querrey but you don't see Federer, Djokovic, Murray or any others attending it and you don't see the sponsorship money because of it.

    LA is a major city and it's kinda sad that it's not at least a 500 series event, which would draw the higher seeds and bigger names to it. But Most of those guys would save time to rest up than to travel all the way across the country just to enter in a 250 event. Draw bigger names and you give more reason for sponsors to invest more money for the event. This tournie maybe slowly went away because of it.
     
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  22. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Mixed emotions: saw some amazing matches in the late 90's early 00's - Agassi v Sampras twice; Agassi v Kuerten. Safin, Haas used to play a lot (Tommy loved the pre-tourney parties at The Mansion). But I didn't go when the quality of the fields cratered.

    Like the say in real estate: location, location, location. No, not the venue - UCLA campus and Westwood are great. Location on the schedule. Way too early in the summer hard lineup - there are still clay events in Europe.

    Also read the last 4 yrs the organizers paid NO appearance fees. Since players only need two or three tournaments to get ready for the US Open, this wasn't very bright.
     
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  23. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    peter fleming will be upset..one of his 3 singles titles was here in 1979 defeating doubles chum j.p mcenroe :) peter fleming often appears on sky sports tennis here in the u.k. (and eurosport)

    barry mackay won in 1960. who just died..and also he was a big cheese tennis commentator in the usa.:cool:

    the farmers classic is being ploughed up and planted in south america OoOoOoOoHhh.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
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  24. TennisA

    TennisA Rookie

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    Pretty sure they didn't have any money to give players appearance fees, considering they didn't have a sponsor for those years.
     
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  25. mikekelley

    mikekelley New User

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    Living five minutes' walk from this venue, this is a major bummer. It was always fun to go to but never filled to capacity.
     
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  26. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    yeah Robbie Koenig was talking about this a couple weeks ago. Even beyond the sponsorships, he said it's getting increasingly difficult for most of 250 level tourneys to afford the appearance fees for more than one top player. And even then it was still difficult for the LA tourney to draw Roddick let alone Fed or Nadal who in their prime were never going to play this tourney anyway given it's place on the schedule. Even if they could have offered Roger two million to show up, he always takes time off after Wimbledon and would've passed anyway.

    oh well, it's not so bad. Indian Wells isn't that far away from LA. And there are other major US markets like Chicago and Boston who don't have a tourney either. I mean those of us in the ******* have to drive to Cincy to see a pro level tourney. If one lived in Minneapolis you'd have to base a vacation around seeing even one day of tennis. At least with those in LA you can make a relatively short trip out to the valley for Indian Wells.
     
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  27. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    not sure why it's dropping ******* on me, but that should read Mid-west
     
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  28. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The question that comes to my mind is "what's the deal with LA?" A city this size and it hasn't had a pro football team in decades, can't seem to support a tennis tournament in a climate where everyone ought to be playing tennis, and even supports its baseball team in a half-assed way. (I've never been to a game there, but my daughter was taken to one a couple of years ago while there on business, and apparently it's true that even in a close game the place would start to empty out around the fifth inning). Angelinos or Diablos??
     
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  29. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    This tournament is held right after Washington, which is a 500. It's also held about 3 weeks after Wimbledon, and most of the top 10 take time off until Cincinatti, so no matter what LA or whoever fills its place did/does, it's never going to be a 500 and no way will it lure Fed, Murray, Nadal etc. I don't know why the original article even mentioned them
     
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  30. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    There would not be an Indian Wells if not for a billionaire, so LA was lacking in support.
     
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  31. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Its related to a competitor on the mail order tennis side
     
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  32. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    it's been a long time since I've been there but I don't think the venue can hold a 500. Isn't Carson a bigger facility, it might be better to hold a bigger tournament there.
     
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  33. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    I just checked his results database, and the best US player of his generation Roddick only played at LA 4 times in his career (in 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2008), and the second best player Blake played there pretty intermittently as well.

    All of these ATP 500 or 250 events in the US will continue to struggle as long as tennis remains such a heavily European dominated sport, and the best US players are struggling to reach the top 10 and gain any recognition whatsoever amongst more casual tennis followers.

    Indianapolis merely relocated to Atlanta in 2010 and wasn't scrapped altogether at least. Still it is pretty sad that there is no event held there any more, considering that Indy was voted by the players as their favourite International Series Gold/ATP 500 tour event, 9 times in 12 years from 1990-2001.
     
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  34. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Yeah,thats a shame...
     
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  35. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    Old story - folks in the Southland have other things to do than attend sports events.....like go out and play the sports or hit the beach or the mountains...etc.
     
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  36. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    Aside from the Lakers, USC football (when they're good) and sometimes the Dodgers (when they're good), it's just not a great sports town. The Lakers always draw, but it's a very front running sports climate there. Just too much other stuff to do, not to mention, a significant portion of the population of the surrounding city aren't from LA. Sort of the same reason Atlanta has been a terrible sports town because so many people from all over the Southeast move to Atlanta for work - CNN/Turner etc...and they're not Atlanta sports fans. Let's face it, if Winston Salem, NC and Memphis can support tourneys, and LA can't, then it's probably time to for them to give it up. It's not totally their fault, but where it stands on the schedule, I just think it's doomed to what it is. Newport faces the same challenge. Hey Wimbledon is over, but here's a tiny grass court tourney just before 5 months of hard courts. If that tourney didn't have the Hall of Fame inductions tied to it, I can't imagine they'd draw flies either.
     
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  37. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Farmer Insurance? Ring a bell? Murray played in 2010 - I'm pretty confident he got paid. So, while Robbie Koenig knows a lot, he doesn't know everything - like the other talking heads on TV.

    Not that long ago it was a huge deal and a hot ticket. And for all the talk of the WTF being sold out, I'm getting emails from the ATP stating there are still tickets for sale.

    This isn't true - BOTH teams draw over 3 million fans a year. The Dodgers pretty much forever and the Angels since Moreno bought the club and got players and the Big A was renovated. The LA Kings won the Cup and if there weren't a strike would have had huge crowds - they sold all the season tickets that were allotted.

    This is the correct answer (and add the other forms of entertainment - movies, concerts, etc). There is a lot to do out here - if you don't offer a quality product, you are doomed. Querrey v Barankis isn't going to cut it.
     
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  38. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    ^^ They may get 3 million in the gate, but do they stay for the whole game? Dodger fans have attained notoriety for leaving half way through.
     
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  39. LaneMyer

    LaneMyer Rookie

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    How about before the Kings won the cup?

    2006-07: 16,859
    2007-08: 16,606
    2008-09: 16,488
    2009-10: 16,148
    2010-11: 16,973
    2011-12: 18,113

    the NHL league average over that time span was 16,974 which means for half a decade they were under league average. Yes the Dodgers draw 3+ million per year but they also have a huge stadium (56,000). If you go by capacity% they match up with Washington and Miami at around 73% capacity. The Yankees, also with a huge stadium (54,200) are around 89%. Philly also outdraws the Dodgers with a city population nearly a third the size of LA. There is a lot to do in Chicago in the summer too, and they have a legit two team town...not one 30 miles away, and the Cubs still draw 3 million a year as well in a much smaller ballpark...and usually with a losing team.
     
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  40. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Indian Wells’ offer to buy L.A. ATP event rebuffed

    http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/11/indian-wells-offer-buy-l-atp-event-rebuffed/40133/
     
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  41. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    wow if that's true very strange and disappointing
     
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