View Full Version : WTA Championships to move to Los Angeles!

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:32 PM
This is great news because now, the Great Tee Rexx, can drive to this big event to see his faves, VENUS and SERENA, play and win this tournament.
This event will start looking like Academy Awards night or like the 2001 U.S. Open final that also, by the way, featured my fave players as well. :p
L.A. Times - latimes.com

INDIAN WELLS -- The WTA Tour is likely to move its troubled season-ending championships from Munich, Germany, to Staples Center this year, pending approval of its board of directors, sources said Sunday.

That could come shortly because a scheduled meeting of the board is at the next major tournament, in Key Biscayne, Fla., which starts March 18. Approval is anticipated but one source said the deal is not certain, pointing out: "Anything can happen in two weeks when it comes to tennis."

At the Pacific Life Open, WTA officials declined comment, and Tim Leiweke, president of Staples Center and the Anschutz Entertainment Group, was traveling and could not be reached for comment. Negotiations have been in the works since late last year. Kevin Wulff, the WTA's new chief executive officer, made two trips to Los Angeles near the end of 2001 to meet with AEG officials. Wulff and Leiweke have a business relationship dating back to when Leiweke worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Wulff was an executive with Miller Brewing Company.

"L.A. is a great tennis market and we'd love to get AEG involved," said Wulff at the Australian Open in January.

In a recent interview, Leiweke would not speak about the negotiations between AEG and the WTA regarding the championships.

"We're talking to a lot of people about a lot of different things in tennis," Leiweke said. "And some of those conversations are related to L.A., some are related to other things."

It's been no secret the tour was looking for another spot for its premier event. For years, it was based in New York at Madison Square Garden and attendance plummeted in 2001 after the move to the Olympiahalle in Munich.

Attendance for the six-day event was 36,500, compared to 94,133 the final year at the Garden, according to WTA figures.

Venus Williams did not play in the event because of an injury, and Monica Seles has refused to play in Germany since she was stabbed in Hamburg in 1993, and she was greatly upset by the decision to move the tournament from New York to Munich.

The move could trigger a series of other events.

Groundbreaking was last month in Carson for AEG's $120-million sports complex, which will feature a 13,000-seat tennis stadium, and there have been long-running discussions between AEG, the WTA and management company IMG about moving the Manhattan Beach women's tournament to Carson.

Meanwhile, the WTA finds itself in a state of flux. There has been speculation the organization could move its corporate headquarters from St. Petersburg, Fla., to Los Angeles. Atlanta is said to be another possibility.

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:37 PM
:mad: It's totally understandable to move it out of Munich, they didn't handle last year's event very well, but there are so many top WTA tournaments in America already - including an always-strong Tier II in LA - that they shouldn't get the end-of-year gala as well. Canada? Russia? Spain? All more deserving.

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:41 PM
No, Sarista7, the event deserves to be in Los Angeles where the stars are and where it is much easier for me to drive to the event as well. :eek: :p

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:44 PM
Well I get to go to Wimbledon so :p No. 1 court on the last Friday no less :makes excited noises:

Mar 11th, 2002, 08:45 PM
LA : how random

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:00 PM
Sarista, You will be sitting on one of those rain soaked Wimbey seats, whilst I will be sipping margueritas, nice and comfy, in the House that Shaq built, while watching my faves win in their old home town. :p :wavey:

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:08 PM
Tee, I get to see Venus turn up :p you do know she's going to school this autumn.

And I do possess an umbrella, you know :p

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:16 PM
Thats great news! I hope it goes through!:)

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:24 PM
If that's gonna happen, I should be able to go!! That would be awesome! :D :D

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:26 PM
As usual americans ruling the world...

Does it make sense to move it this year when all the tournaments leading to the masters are scheduled in central Europe and players will have to go to the other part of the world within hours???

Imagine: such a long trip at the end of a long season, jet lag, moving from freezing temperatures to californian temperatures...

But it doesn't matter. American money is more important.

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:31 PM
Quite being such a baby about it. The tournament will be much better off in the US.

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:39 PM
I, for one, applaud the move. *Checking ticket prices for airfare now*...

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:45 PM

Woo hoo! LA rocks :)

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:47 PM
I LOVE the US, I LOVE Monica, I LOVE Jennifer


HOW can you all ignore the fact that the last part of the season is completely in Europe and then argue that the move to the States is a wise decision !?!

You have the biggest events in the world apart from the Grand Slams taking place this very moment, you have the majority of tierIIs in your country so why do you think you deserve the biggest event apart from the Grand Slams as well ?

Me being German, I am ashamed of the Selesī court decision and ashamed of only low attendance at the Chase last fall in Munich, so I could accept a decision to move though Iīd wish this event to develop in the future


If itīs moved then why not moving it within Europe, install something that everybody can be part of the game and watch the girls ?

Sometimes I think you think that due to the fact that 80% of the top10 are Americans you consequently deserve the whole "party" - why canīt you share something with all of us ?

I can accept every decision but Iīd be disappointed about a complete re-move to the US with NO event as preparation in your country and the rest of the indoor season in Europe

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:56 PM
I think it is more complicated than most people think.

The main problem is that sport business is still centred on the US and with a premiere women tennis event, WTA will try to get as much as much exposure as possible after their failure last year in Munich. There is no place but in US where the whole world will be able to cover the event. It is a wise decision taken from the standpoint of business, but of course for players it is a nightmare, I mean of course US player dun mind coz they more or less will be returning home anyway, so they just play 'on their way back' home. But for European players, is it really worth a trip? It all depends on scheduling, I do hope they put the master one week after Linz (a tier 2) can you imagine any top players bother to play Linz if they have to play in US the next week? But then that will be problem coz Fed Cup has to be played, so WTA really need to think about this a bit more

Mar 11th, 2002, 09:59 PM
Good point, Chris, but it is all about the dough and the Germans did not show up for the event in the numbers that they did in N.Y. and the time difference severly limited live presentations to the largest number of viewers in the world, which again is the U.S. audience.

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:04 PM
I can't see ANY of the players already qualified for the season-ending playing in Linz or Luxembourg. Not even americans. It just make no sense at all.

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:08 PM
It would have been nice though if they had kept the tournament in Europe (London would have been ideal ;)), but I can understand the decision to move it.

Personally I would have given Germany another chance, but I'm sure LA will be great and also Monica will play there :).

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:09 PM
A trip to California in November sounds like fun!

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:22 PM
Moon - It should be party time for Williams fans in Los Angeles. ;)
Bring your inline skates and bikinis. :eek: :p

Mar 11th, 2002, 10:41 PM
Sounds good to me.

Now, can someone else cover it besides ESPN?:mad:

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:08 PM
Let me add some things :

Spiceboy and others : Having in mind what happened to the great Steffi Graf and others in the past, they DID indeed play Leipzig just to move to Advanta and play and qualify for the Chase the last minute so it should be possible to play one week in Europe just to move to the US even if we consider the fact that if they start on Tuesday whatsoever, the girls fresh from rest could start the event and those just arrived in time could have a break till Wednesday

For me, I donīt see problems for Linz and Luxemburg to get stars if we consider that Miss Dokic plays EVERY WEEK ;) and Henin and Clijsters should be among those who definetly play as much as they can in Europe
- same as Mauresmo

These times, a tierII can survive with that top4 if the Americans should decide to rest, f.e.

The marketing-thing and the TV-audience Tee-Rexx mentioned is a topic definetly to discuss. You are right with that. But that thing justify a move after one year just to calm marketing experts that see better broadcasting times and stufff ?

If we re-consider the recent past, only night sessions in the US made MSG full, the afternoon matches between van Roost and someone or Coetzer and Tauziat were "ghost" matches same as they were in Munich

I can accept every argument and I can definetly live with the Chase moving but please, in my loyality, try to accept my view as well knowing the whole background of the event and how big it was treated here and how hard they tried it. For me, itīs just that I sometimes feel sorry for all those who tried to make Germany a good host and then everybody looked for something to criticize just in order to get the whole thing back rather than to improve something the next year in Munich. I donīt think thatīs pretty fair.

Among those, I might criticize those f.e. who tried to write Munich even before the event when finding out having in mind that Monica wouldnīt play.

We love Monica, Germany would welcome her with open arms and her return would be the end of a chapter/nightmare for her but she decides not to go. Thatīs it. She even said that she can visit us a tourist but not as a player which shows that sheīs in a way at peace with "us a country" though not with us a "legal" system or regarding tennis. Iīve the impression that some donīt recognize that and try to continue that story - that is something which makes me sad - and the Munich story was a part of that puzzle

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:16 PM
When (as in what time of day)were matches played in munich? i was at uni so got them videoed and sent down so i have no idea.

chris is right, the afternoon matches in NY were just there so the non crowd pullers could do their matches and not get in the way of the bigger names. it was a shame.

i think its strange how they still don't have a country, let alone a venue and we're in the 3rd month of the tour. not gonna get a crowd anywhere if u can't make up ur mind where its gonna be til 2 seconds before the players need to be there

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:29 PM
Matches started at 2 in the afternoon I think when I remember it correctly - when people work normally

The night session are the hits at EVERY indoor event in Europe and those matches were better attended at least

I think that itīs an interesting topic to discuss an appropriate country, f.e. in Europe, to install such an event

UK and France have their Grand Slams, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Belgium same as Russia have one or a number of tier events

Maybe now that Italy has a number of top30 candidates, Italy would be good ; I think that the Forro Italico at night offers a nice atmosphere with all those Italians and their Handys - I think that could be transferred indoors !

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:39 PM
It is really nice to hear your side of story Chris since you are from Germany, I share your sentiment that why Munich had not got a second chance and people are talking up about moving back even before the tournament started last year. But you have to remember we all know, Monica or not, this is not a wise move at all when women tennis was on a high in probably the biggest market (US) after the Williams final, and suddenly take away from it, it just will not make sense although the prize money and the timing is better. But I got an impression that Munich never really tried as much as they should to promote this event (I mean for a 3 million purse, you may as well splash a little bit more on advertising)

Further to the point, although you may call me biased as a Monica fan, but Monica has been betrayed by WTA so many times already, and you have understand why Monica unwilling to go back to germany to play, not only because of the legal system, but also the fact that at 1993 in teh event she was attacked, the tournament director decide to go ahead at the event, that was incredibly rude and I think it also add a part to why Monica refuse to help the German Federation.

Okay, I am moving away from this, but all in all I think that as much as people say that US has too many events already, ultimately, we all benefited from having more US events as much as we dislike this fact, this is the country where all the sponsors are willing to splashed big bucks and where they have the most watched population for tennis.

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:52 PM
What about Birmingham - the NEC does davis cup well :) An the BBC would prob get coverage if it was, which would boost figures loads, even if there aren't any brit players ever gonna be in the elite 16 field again.

where ever it is it'll be ok with me as long as the names are there.

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:58 PM
This is GREAT news. I am sure Monica is smiling which makes me very happy :) But, I sure with it was back at the Garden so that I could see it- only 30 minutes away. :mad:

Will it be outdoors now? I bet it will be hardcourt again, just like Munich. Wish I was wrong and that it was back to carpet- just like NY.

Mar 11th, 2002, 11:59 PM

1st: Please tell me how many of the girls already qualified played Leipzig & Filadelfia: just Tauziat because it was indoors. Leipzig draw was usually quite weak.

2nd: Note that Filadelfia is in the east coast and Los Angeles in the west coast so the trip is much longer and the jet lag is much worse.

3rd: Filadelfia and Leipzig "enjoy" the same weather conditions in November. Talk about Sunny California.

4th:Do you really think that at the end of a long season a player able to reach the semis or finals in Linz & Luxemborg (obviously the 16 qualified are) would play and then go to the other part of the world in such a short time??? To me it's pretty clear that as usual Filderstadt and Zurich would get the best players and the week before the masters would be soooooooo pathetic (imagine, not even Tauziat will go ;) )

Mar 12th, 2002, 12:41 AM
LA was just a suggestion, they may even be able to get it back to MSG so then Philly wouldn't be a problem.

Mar 12th, 2002, 12:52 AM
Yes, please let it be true, i'm so gonna go if it were to be held in LA.

Williams Rulez
Mar 12th, 2002, 01:09 AM
This would be great!! Moving it away from Germany would increase attendance figures for one! :D

And Monica would actually play there!! :bounce: :bounce:

Mar 12th, 2002, 01:59 AM

Excellent post, with lots of good insight. Monica is my favorite player these days -- and I believe she would help herself big time mentally by just going back and playing a tournament in Germany. I understand -- can even empathize with -- her unwillingness to do so, but she will never be able to truly conquer and confront the attrocity that happened to her without facing it head-on.

As for the year-end championships, I have always believed that the women's game was best served by having the tournament in New York. Let's face it -- New York is the world's biggest stage, whether you like it or not (I happen to love it!). And the crowds were phenomenal. There are few places in the world that can draw these kinds of crowds for women's tennis. Does anyone really believe that Rome or Paris would turn out nearly 100,000 people to watch a women's-only tournament. Excuse the stereotype, but in general -- certainly not the fans on this board -- Europe tends to treat women as second-class when it comes to sports. New York loves women.

As for putting the tournament in LA, I think that's a bad idea for everyone except TeeRexx (hope you have a grand time if they bring to LA!). LA will really sap the tournament's media coverage, because of the time difference. The women played their season-ending event out West in the 1970s (in the desert admittedly), and got very little hype from it.

In a perfect world, I'd like to see the tournament rotated to different sites around the world each year. But until then, it needs to go where everyone will benefit the most -- players, sponsors, crowds, fans of the game. And at the moment, New York seems the most logical place to fit that bill.

Mar 12th, 2002, 03:29 AM
Either it should go back to Madison Square Gardens or it should move around the world, a diff city every year.

Mar 12th, 2002, 04:08 AM
Why cant they have any tournaments in the southern US!:(
Atleast Monica can play now...:)

Mar 12th, 2002, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by TheBoiledEgg
Either it should go back to Madison Square Gardens or it should move around the world, a diff city every year.

I think it should move around to different cities like the Masters. That way no one gets shafted....Europe one year, US one year, Australia one year....South America....I'd pass on Antartica or Pakistan right now, but I do like the idea of it moving....and of course starting out this year in LA is fine with me :)

Mar 12th, 2002, 07:34 AM
I think the ATP makes it good. Every year a new city. I hope they will come to Belgrade.

Mar 12th, 2002, 07:48 AM
I think I go with BoilegEgg to move it around

One proposal Iīd make is SouthAfrica to make a present for good old SpeedyAmanda but I doubt theyīll do that due to the Williams and the Black and White problem

I think that moving the event around though stands in contrast to ending a season indoors in Europe and that each time you move the Chase, new circumstances will occurr, new jet lags, new transport problems and stuff

I thank all those guys who tried to understand my reasons here

I agree with those, on the other hand, who try to underline that Munich didnīt do enough to promote

A HUGE mistake that made me anti-Munich was the fact that for a very long time after the US OPEN German press spread the rumour that the WTA would offer Anna Kournikova a wildcard for the event though not being part of the top16 that time ; that made me sick to offer a wildcard just to get headlines ; when it was clear that everyone INTO tennis understand the Race to the Chase rules and Anna never couldīve achieved that goal they turned their back on her and tried to talk Anke Huber into a wildcard, thank God she qualified legally

I found out yesterday that Lisa Raymond was the one who gave the info to the press last week-end

I think, Spiceboy, that the LA thing is just a rumour and if we consider the fact that itīs Leipzig-Advanta we talked about, Linz-NY is quite the same. I stick to my view that they could easily allow girls to play their first match on Wednesday if playing a final in Linz on Sunday ?!

Mar 12th, 2002, 07:53 AM
damn... i thought it was to be in singapore

what was i thinking anyway ;)

Mar 12th, 2002, 08:32 AM
Great news. You've got to hold the Championships
where the media types are. L.A! Great- it's always
a good tennis crowd in California.

Mar 12th, 2002, 08:50 AM
Good input from all posters.

But for those who don't want the event in Los Angeles, they obviously have never stuck their toes in the waters at Malibu Beach or watched the rollerskating honeys at Venice or hit the hot spots on Sunset Blvd. to not want this tourney in the Sunshine city. ;)

I think that the Wimbey event should be rotated around the world because other cities can ruin the event just as well as the All England Tennis Club seems to do every year. :eek: :p

Tatiana Panova
Mar 12th, 2002, 11:52 AM
I think that LA sounds great - will it be played outdoors?

I do think though that America has too many big tennis events. Britain could really support such a huge indoor event, and the seats are always full because British people like to go to any sporting venue.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Mar 12th, 2002, 12:19 PM
What would be good is if they could move BOTW, Acura, and LA all to the fall and bring back Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta ;) for the summer time! :)

They could move Leipzing, Filderstadt, Luxembourg, Linz to the spring/winter after the Australian Open.

Mar 12th, 2002, 12:28 PM
Yeah. Good idea.

Change the whole schedule and move every event in Europe to whenever the Americans want it to take place ;)

Can you imagine that the places themselves have schedules for concerts and other events and the halls arenīt open every part of the season for tennis !?!

We could discuss this topic to death really.
Itīs a decision definetly to be made between keeping it in Munich and moving it to the US as far as we all know so itīs no exchange of arguments here because we canīt achieve anything.

If weīd kept the Quebec-Advanta range as a parallel to the European events I would have NO PROBLEM with moving apart from the fact that the US has enough events by now. But with no event after the US Open, only to move due to the fact that the US market needs an event to make people of aware of the fact that a season does not END with the US Open is ridiculous

Itīs well known that for US people, the US Open are the final point of the season and that tells us a certain story how seriously the public in general follows tennis. Donīt you think it would be wise moving the event into a region where tennis in fall indoors is popular and if moving then leaving it in Europe ?!

Mar 12th, 2002, 02:43 PM
SERENA and VENUS want the championships in Los Angeles, so I guess it will be so then. :eek: :p :wavey:

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Mar 12th, 2002, 03:16 PM
Chris, actually I want every event in the USA ;)

Nahh, just kidding. Actually, my fave event of all time is Wimbledon and it has always been a dream of mine to go there one day....and I will.

I think the 2 clay court tournaments after Wimbledon need to be abolished and an extra week of grass should be added in. The clay season is too long as it is, in my opinion, and I think more grass events should also be added to the schedule.

But, the USA was used to so many events taking part here and now, that number is minimal compared to what we used to have (even though we still have quiet a few), and we are such a large nation, geographically, that it would be nice to have a tournament in the Midwest and the deep south (not counting the green clay tournaments).

fan of Jana
Mar 12th, 2002, 04:09 PM
I think the US has definitely a greater potential for hosting the Chase. I remember that during the 80's, there was tons of indoor event on the US 5Oakland, Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Detroit...) well in near every state, and most of them were succesfull (I remember something like more than 10 000 people attending Navratilova vs Mandlikova final in V Slims of California in '84)...
So I think that the event has his right place in the US. I don't know which city (LA or NYC) would be better, but it's a good option to move from munich...

Mar 12th, 2002, 06:00 PM
That's great news :)

I hope Monica will play again :)

I agree they should place championships to the different city each year.

It seems almost everyone is happy Championships will be moved from Munich :)


Mar 12th, 2002, 06:05 PM
Yeah, I know all of the players are just dying to spend a little time in a German winter rather than 3 weeks in Los Angeles. :rolleyes:

I am waiting to hear of one player complaining about going to Los Angeles instead of Germany.

Hey, anyway I heard the Germany has a lock on all of the bobsleding championships. They will not be moving to L.A.

Yet. :eek: :wavey:

Mar 12th, 2002, 06:45 PM
Los Angeles would be a great spot! :bounce: If they do move it there, I would be able to go to 3 events now, yeyyyy!!

Mar 13th, 2002, 11:33 PM
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS.... I am soooo thrilled and the weather would be perfect!! Maybe I could actually watch a women's match in person rather than on TV all the time:rolleyes:

Plus, Jem, that was back in the 70's, -- women's pro tennis was still pretty young back then wasn't it? Now it's a whole different ballgame... and with the likes of the Williams sisters, Korny, Lindsay, and the whole crew showing up I bet the media coverage would be intense. Bring it on! Set it off!!
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Mar 13th, 2002, 11:38 PM
I think that LA sounds great - will it be played outdoors?

The STAPLES center is an indoor venue, thats where the LAKERS PLAY!!!:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:



Bright Red
Mar 14th, 2002, 02:59 AM
Great news! Now I'll be able to attend. And this must be great news for Seles fans now that it's left Germany.

Sam L
Mar 14th, 2002, 10:48 AM
LOL I think this venue is going to bomb... give it one year, before it'll be moved again! :D

Mar 14th, 2002, 06:17 PM
LA is a great sports town with many tennis enthusists. I can't wait to see purchase tickets.