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USTA confirms local tennis event likely headed to Atlanta

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Indianapolis Tennis Championships officials announced Friday afternoon that they have sold the sanctioning rights for the local tournament back to the ATP Tour.

U.S. Tennis Association officials in New York, meanwhile, confirmed an IBJ report last week that the event is likely headed for Atlanta.

Officials at the USTA, which also owns the U.S. Open, said they already are discussing a deal with the ATP.

“Atlanta is ready, willing and able to host the event in 2010,” Tim Curry, spokesman at USTA’s national headquarters in New York, said Friday. “Now that the ATP has ownership of the event, we’re hoping to get this deal done and have an announcement made by the first quarter of 2010 at the latest.”

Both the USTA national office and its Southern Section in Georgia are in on the deal.

Though financial details of the deal were not released, ITC Director Kevin Martin said the revenue from the sale to the ATP will be enough to pay all the tournament’s outstanding bills with possibly some left over to use for one of the ITC’s charitable causes.

ITC officials said they negotiated with several potential buyers for the purchase of the week-long event, but in the end decided to sell it back to ATP so tournament officials could tie up the event’s finances by year’s end.

Martin cited declines in ticket and sponsorship sales as reasons for the tournament’s eventual demise. He said while the core audience of the event remained strong, corporate entertaining at the event waned, severely hurting the tournament.

Martin said the ATP has not yet decided where the tournament—which is set for the third week in July—will be held in 2010. ATP officials could not be reached for comment.

The ITC traces its roots in Indianapolis back to 1920, when it was held at the Woodstock Country Club.

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  • Not so fast, ATL!
    The USTA may say it's going to ATL, but the final say is up to the ATP Tour, which has already had one vote to deny the move to the Southern Section. SportsBusiness Journal report the mood of the ATP is to retire the date and thereby reduce the number of tournaments on the men's calendar. However, the Southern Section is appealing.
  • not up front
    Yes, Kevin Martin is right, it is a sad day. The saddest part about it is, Martin wasn't up front about what was truly going on with the tournament until it was too late. He should have publicly sought help, and he might have been surprised about what corners that help might have come from. Instead he chose to silently soldier on like some kind of martyr. A sad day indeed, but for all the wrong reasons.

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