• Loading stock data...
Friday, March 1, 2024

Creation of History-making Premium Tour in Tennis Gathers Steam

  • Top players briefed on the potential effort combining Slams with top WTA and ATP events.
  • The Australian Open smashes its prior attendance record.
Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

The prospect of a premium-level tour in pro tennis, including the four Grand Slams and other top men’s and women’s tournaments, is moving closer to reality after key stakeholders were briefed on the effort at the recently concluded Australian Open. 

Advancing a discussion held back in the fall regarding the potentially transformative notion, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and U.S. Open tournament director Stacey Allaster briefed top players during the tournament, according to The Telegraph in London, and the WTA is said to be particularly receptive to the idea. 

The effort, somewhat resembling how Formula 1 operates, seeks to achieve several goals. Perhaps foremost among them is the creation of an aggregated set of media and sponsorship rights that could garner more revenue than the ATP and WTA do separately. Additionally, the creation of a new tour would represent another major move for gender equality in pro sports while also creating a more streamlined schedule that is easier for both players and fans. 

A premier tour working group is now due to report to tennis leaders at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in March. But there are still obstacles, including synchronizing commercial contracts across the sport and getting buy-in from both the ATP and WTA to downgrade some events into a lesser, developmental tour. 

“All the stakeholders in tennis have been working on a solution for the game. And it’s a journey to get to that point,” Tiley told The Telegraph. “The Slams are united in their resolve, but it’s a complex problem to solve. If it wasn’t complicated, it would have been solved already. These ideas aren’t new, but what may be new is the motivation to give it a go, and see if there’s that opportunity.”

G’Day, Mate

There was more history at the two-week Australian Open that ended Sunday as the first Grand Slam of 2024 finished with a total attendance of 1.02 million, beating the prior tournament record of 839,192, set last year, by a whopping 22%. Despite initial player concerns about match scheduling and new tournament offerings to attendees, such as a two-story courtside bar, Tiley hailed the event and its appeal to fans.

“It was the best Australian Open ever,” Tiley said, somewhat echoing a common Olympics refrain from former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch. “All of our metrics show that, from player feedback to fan experience.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Paris Games Gain Momentum With $2B Completion of Olympic Village

The $2.2 billion housing project finished on time and was essentially on budget.
Caitlin Clark

Iowa Star Caitlin Clark Makes It Official: She’s WNBA-Bound

Iowa star Caitlin Clark announced she is declaring for the WNBA draft.

NFL Combine Is Buzzing With Talk of Nearly $1B in Extra Cap Space

The 2024 NFL salary cap is $255.4M per team, a $30M-per-team jump over last season.

Electronic Arts’ Layoffs Signal Ongoing Evolution, Struggles

The company is set to make a second major round of staff cuts in the last year.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.
February 25, 2024

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
February 24, 2024

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Spotify
Multiple - USA Careers
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
EA
Multiple - USA Careers
Anthony Kim

Can LIV Golf’s Bid to Bring Back Retired PGA Tour Star Succeed?

Anthony Kim will compete on LIV Golf the rest of the season.
Amanda Vandervort
February 26, 2024

With the NWSL Thriving, Is There More Room at the Top in Women’s Pro Soccer?

The USL Super League has received D-I sanctioning from U.S. Soccer.
February 28, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards: Dolphins Best, Commanders Worst

The NFLPA released its second annual team report cards.
Sponsored

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
February 26, 2024

Unsigned MLB Stars Spark Tension Between Teams, Players, and Union

Nineteen teams are currently projected to open the 2024 season with reduced payrolls.
NFL salary cap
February 23, 2024

NFL Salary Cap Sees Historic Spike Ahead of 2024 Season

Each franchise was allotted $255.4M, which is a $30M increase for each team.
February 23, 2024

Despite Nike’s Efforts, MLB Uniform Controversy Isn’t Looking Good

Manufacturer touts product benefits but ignores complaints of see-through fabric.
MLB Arizona
February 22, 2024

MLB Seeks Minimum Wage Exemption in Arizona

The system is for minor league players due to a previously agreed-on labor agreement.