Originally Posted by BMC9670
Prize money is not going to increase at this level - just not enough sponsor and spectator money coming in - and certainly no TV audience for advertisers/sponsors. Let's face it - tennis is very different than popular team sports. People don't want to watch it in big enough numbers (outside of majors) and players are not taken care of by teams. Not a lot of ways to change the system as it is, unless the USTA somehow comes up with something similar to other federations. I don't see it happening.
That's the logical argument on the surface. That's the short term view. However if the ITF, ATP, USTA, etc. wants to grow the game long-term they will have to do something to address the underlying minor league tour system. I could go on and on why they need they need a healthy Future/Challenger system for the up and coming players to feed the Tour level events. The amount of dollars needed to fund those minor league tours is minor compared to the revenues generated by the ATP/WTA tours has to be fratiomal. If the basis for having Futures and Challenger tournaments with healthy prize money is profitable events funded by healthy fan attendance the pro game is doomed. Minor league systems typically are not money makers on most all levels. Comparing tennis to minor league baseball or other team sports is misguideded. Look at golf minor league tours may be a little closer to the model needed. Does the Nationwide and Hooters tours really make money from fan attendance? I don't know the actual answers but am willing to guess, no.
Point is there's funds and means available to fund the lower level pro system. Until its perceived as a problem by those in charge, I agree with you and don't see much change coming anytime soon.