It was a beautiful day to be perched on the biggest rooftop in all of the Nation’s Capital–the W Hotel Roof Bar and Ballroom. Directly adjacent from the White House, it has kept the eyes of watchful Secret Service agents on the VIP-neighboring rooftop very busy for many years. Today, the eyes were on tennis in Washington, and like all gossip in this town, the major details had crept out before the announcement was officially made.
The ATP Event Formerly Known As Legg Mason Tennis Classic (TATPEFKALMTC) is now CitiOpen. What’s more, the WTA event known as CitiOpen is also coming to D.C., ending a one year run only twenty minutes away in College Park, Maryland.
The old Grandstand, behind the main stadium, will be upgraded and a second Grandstand show court with 2,500 seats will be added at the north (entrance) end of the Rock Creek Park facility.
As you can see from the Q&A conducted by 2012 Tournament Director (and no introduction needed) Donald Dell, you are assured that:
* Parking will not be affected during construction
* Practice Courts will continue to be open for public viewing
* Ticket prices for this year will probably not go up
* No Hawk Eye on Grandstand for now, as that requires a Jumbotron for fan engagement
* No set plans to use the Washington Kastles Stadium at the Wharf in D.C., but not ruling it out
After the conference, we spoke briefly with 2011 ATP Legg Mason Tournament Director, Jeff Newman, on the long-term sustainability of the CitiOpen from the WTA perspective.
“We know what the public wants, and we feel we’re meeting that demand. We really feel we’ve added a great deal of value to the event for 2012, so hopefully over time that is going to elevate the tournament”, he said.
Will the fact that an established ATP event is already taking place on the grounds help the WTA side of the tournament?
“I think so. If you look at the demographics of tennis fans, it’s 50/50 men and women. It will clearly help us get more fans.”