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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    707

    The Pilot Pen pulls from New Haven CT

    In probably the last tune-up before the US Open here in New England was a very substantial Tournament called The Pilot Pen. Prior to that it was sponsored by Volvo Autos. When I moved to New England, it just happened to be the last year of that Volvo sponsored the New Haven Ct. Tennis Center.

    What I am here to say is more about 'Why' these great Tennis sponsorships seem to dump one Tennis Tier tournament after another. This year as in the past, I was granted Box seats for select Day & Night sessions because i did a lot of work for the Tournament Committee. Normally my wife will attend an Evening Session with me and this year I kept mentioning to her that I had a strange feeling we will not be enjoying this tournament much longer here in New Haven based upon the attendance I am witnessing during both Day & Night Sessions. And why is attendance down in Tennis?

    Well for one, Tennis lacks big time. I understand that it is considered a concentration sport where quiet is paramount to allow the Players their best opportunity to play their best game. But people love to scream & cheer for their favorite players which is what Tennis does for the game. It takes away the excitement of the battle by limiting one's ability to express themselves as they would during say a Davis Cup match where much more latitude was given to the Audience because the Officials know they are representing a Country and how can you keep a Country's Cheerleaders down & quiet.

    But one last important issue is the dwindling list of Star Power in Tennis. Who's stepping up and filling Andre's shoes? Can't say it's Roger Federer because he's just way too calm and how about Rafa? yeah he's got the appeal we are craving for tennis excitement & crowd appreciation but I guess that's not enough to sustain the Sport the way we need it to be.

    If you were to attend a Day Session at the US Open & attend a Night Session there as well, what an incredible difference. Night Matches at the Open are the stuff movies are made from. People are far more vocal for their favorite Players and Tournament Officials try hard as they can to place their biggest Draw power for night matches. This unfortunately didn't happen in New Haven because the biggest Stars of Tennis have begun to go elsewhere for their last Tuneup before the Open, leaving New Haven out.

    I believe last year, James Blake was the #1 Seed whereas this year I think it was N. Davedenko. Can you imagine him being the #1 Seed? The point is, I'm not saying he's not deserving of being considered good enough but when you think #1 Seed, you want someone who's currently ranked in the Top 5 or better.

    So New Haven is once again in search for a Sponsor, which they're no stranger to. I'm sure they will get one before the Open starts next year but at what price this time? Unless they can get serious draw power they will have a problem and the best are going to Canada the week before the Open.

    Got any solutions for New Haven Ct.?
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    132
    Well there are 40 world tour 250 tournaments and only two count towards a top five players ranking, so is seems that the ATP screwed the smaller tournaments. I would think the awful economic situation would be the main cause of decreasing attendance this year though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    707
    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    Well there are 40 world tour 250 tournaments and only two count towards a top five players ranking, so is seems that the ATP screwed the smaller tournaments. I would think the awful economic situation would be the main cause of decreasing attendance this year though.
    Nah - Ticket prices were very reasonable even for Box sections. This year at the Open, the Tennis World was systematically impressed by Oudin's improbable run through the Draw taking out my favorite (Sharapova) along the way. Most likely Oudin will be in the Mix here because so many want to see her but as for the rest of the Draw, "been there/done that".

    The Tournament Sponsors made claim that lagging ticket sales was the culprit for sure but I'd bet if the New Haven Tournament were to offer healthier appearance money for the likes of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and say Roddick, you would see them here.

    Anyway, I'd like to know if you think Tennis has seen its' best days in the Sun with the current Star Power we have and it will just have to settle in knowing Tennis is not nor will ever be a dominant major sport in the USA?


    Coach


    .
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    132
    I really think that if the US had more top players more people would be interested. I remember I got interested in tennis because I saw Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon 06 and thought he was one kick ass dude. I think the main problem is there's no one like him from the US that someone can see on TV and become interested in the game nowadays. Also if soccer couldn't become a dominant sport in the US I doubt tennis has a chance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    707
    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    I really think that if the US had more top players more people would be interested. I remember I got interested in tennis because I saw Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon 06 and thought he was one kick ass dude. I think the main problem is there's no one like him from the US that someone can see on TV and become interested in the game nowadays. Also if soccer couldn't become a dominant sport in the US I doubt tennis has a chance.
    That's what I'm referring to mostly. On the WTA side there seems to be drama unfolding daily that keep Fans somewhat interested but in the ATP, the guys have neatly settled into their respective positions knowing Federer is the best and the rest simply wait for the tiniest of openings to make a match of it.

    Celebrity does not go hand in hand with Tennis as one would think. Andre Agassi was an extraordinary exception to this rule. For all of those that followed, it was labored. Even Pete tried to put more animation in his game but at the end of the day, Pete was Pete and the Audience saw that he was out of his element. Where as Andre just walked onto the Court and something that rarely took place is all they waited for.

    I think Maria Sharapova has that flare as well. Even though she's not the Champion she once was, she still has the best Star Power in the WTA above the William's Sisters even.

    _______________________

    But Ticket Sales is the bottomline for successful Tournaments. The New Haven CT Tennis Center has been witnessing dwindling attendance for years now, just about the time Players like Agassi or others in the ATP decided to go to other Tuneup Events prior to the USO.

    However this is not uncommon in the Tennis World for Players to jump Tournaments in order for Audiences in other parts of the Country a peek at their all time favorites but what happens when they don't come back like in New Haven? Sponsors pulls out and that's all she wrote.

    So I wonder am I saying the ATP enjoys a larger Draw machine than the WTA?

    Coach
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

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