New Zealand's international women's tennis tournament has been included in the WTA Tour's revamped calendar to run from 2009.
Fears had been expressed for the future of the ASB Classic under the WTA's Roadmap 2010 reforms, which aim to revitalise the game with changes that include a shortened and streamlined schedule.
However, Classic director Richard Palmer today said the WTA had confirmed it wanted Auckland to remain on the circuit.
"We've been informed we are one of the tournaments they want on the calendar," he said.
"We just have to get our financial side together and it's all rock and roll, basically."
The new schedule will feature 20 Series A and 33 Series B tournaments, replacing the present four-tier structure.
The Classic would be a Series B event and would have to increase prizemoney from $US145,000 ($NZ200,000) to $US225,000.
There would also be a one-off $US450,000 franchise fee, which could be paid in a lump sum or spread over five years.
Palmer is confident the increased costs can be met.
He described the prizemoney issue as "quite manageable", while a working party was looking at options for meeting the franchise fee.
He also said the WTA had softened its stance on player access for Series B events.
The previous proposal ruled out top-10 players and put restrictions on the number of top-20 players allowed.
Now, each B event would be permitted one top-10 player, while there would be no limits from there down.
Another change in the Classic's favour was that a new lucrative Doha tournament to run in the same New Year week would have a main draw of 32, rather than 56.
Palmer said he never doubted the WTA wanted the Classic to continue as a build-up to the Australian Open.
"It was just a question of whether the rules and terms of reference under which we had to operate were going to be do-able, financially and in terms of the field we could assemble," he said.
"The financials can be done and player access is different from what it was going to be."
Palmer said next summer's Classic would run under much the same regulations as the last one.