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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 08:32 PM   #1
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WTA Championships to move to Los Angeles!

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.
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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.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 08:37 PM   #2
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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.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 08:41 PM   #3
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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.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 08:44 PM   #4
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Well I get to go to Wimbledon so No. 1 court on the last Friday no less :makes excited noises:
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 08:45 PM   #5
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LA : how random
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:00 PM   #6
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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.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:08 PM   #7
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Tee, I get to see Venus turn up you do know she's going to school this autumn.

And I do possess an umbrella, you know
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:16 PM   #8
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Thats great news! I hope it goes through!
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:24 PM   #9
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If that's gonna happen, I should be able to go!! That would be awesome!
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:26 PM   #10
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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.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quite being such a baby about it. The tournament will be much better off in the US.
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:39 PM   #12
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I, for one, applaud the move. *Checking ticket prices for airfare now*...
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:45 PM   #13
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YAYAYAYAYAY!!!

Woo hoo! LA rocks
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:47 PM   #14
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I LOVE the US, I LOVE Monica, I LOVE Jennifer

BUT

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 Seles´ court decision and ashamed of only low attendance at the Chase last fall in Munich, so I could accept a decision to move though I´d wish this event to develop in the future

BUT

If it´s 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 can´t you share something with all of us ?

I can accept every decision but I´d 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
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Old Mar 11th, 2002, 09:56 PM   #15
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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
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