The WTA tournament at Flats will be broadcast on Bally Sports, has sold most of its boxes of court


Soon, tennis courts will be built over parking lots in downtown Cleveland.

There is a provisional television program, and the courtyard side lodges have proven to be a popular draw.

With a major professional tennis tournament in Cleveland two months away, things are progressing as Topnotch Management had hoped. Well, with one exception: the Cleveland-based company is still hoping to land a presenting sponsor for the Women’s Tennis Association’s seven-day tournament which kicks off at the West Bank of the Flats on August 22.

“We’ve had great feedback from the ‘Tennis in the Dirt’ title,” tournament director Kyle Ross told Crain’s. “Locally everyone appreciates it, and the WTA, the USTA. They’ve just been thrilled – that it’s a new kind of event name, that it really encompasses the city and it’s not. not a business. “

Ideally, however, Cleveland-based Topnotch would sign a deal that pairs a sponsor’s name with the nickname “Tennis in the Land,” Ross said.

Such a contract would help cover some of the expenses of a WTA 250 event that will cost around $ 600,000 to $ 800,000 to host each year, including a $ 300,000 prize pool. Topnotch also had to pay a seven-figure fee to the WTA for the rights to host a tournament that will be part of the US Open Series – a group of summer competitions that lead up to the main event in New York City.

The Cleveland tournament will feature Jacobs Pavilion as the stadium’s main field. Five additional playing surfaces will be built on parking lots owned by Jacobs Entertainment which will be repaved to meet WTA standards for outdoor courts.

Ross said the two outdoor game fields will be played on fields behind the Harbor Inn, located at 1219 Main Ave. There, a Sherwin-Williams fresco will serve as a a quality backdrop for matches.

The three training grounds will be closer to the FirstEnergy Powerhouse complex. Topnotch had considered parking lots that line the Cuyahoga River, but those areas are part of the group of parking lots that Jacobs Entertainment put up for sale last year, Ross said.

The event will be sandwiched between the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and the US Open.

“Logistically it’s pretty good,” Topnotch president and founder Sam Duvall told Crain’s in January.

Ross said Bally Sports Great Lakes will broadcast 11 games, including singles and doubles finals, from Cleveland. Sinclair-owned regional sports network will tailor tennis matches to gaps in its Indian broadcast schedule.

The tournament director said 35 of the 50 short-side boxes, which can accommodate four people and are the most expensive tickets, have been sold. Boxes cost $ 4,500 for the top rows, $ 5,000 for the middle section and $ 5,500 for the first two rows, and the purchase guarantees entry for the entire week.

Tickets for the semi-finals (scheduled for Friday August 27) and finals (August 28) “are progressing very well,” said Ross. Sales for the games at the start of the week were much slower.

The capacity of the main court at Jacobs Hall is expected to be in the order of 3,200. Participants will include Caroline Garcia, represented by Duvall and ranked fourth in the world in 2018.

The event will be the largest professional tennis tournament held in Cleveland since Brad Gilbert won the Society Bank Tennis Classic in 1985. Topnotch also promotes the tournament as the most notable professional women’s event held in the Northeast. from Ohio.

“Things are moving. It’s fun,” said Ross.

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