Thursday, June 14, 2007
SONY ERICSSON WTA TOUR ANNOUNCES FINALIST BID CITIES FOR 2008 SONY ERICSSON
Bangalore, Doha, Istanbul and Monterrey vying for 2008 prestigious season-ending Sony Ericsson
Championships ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today that Bangalore, India; Doha, Qatar; Istanbul, Turkey; and Monterrey, Mexico have been selected as the finalist bid cities to host the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships. The announcement follows an extensive and competitive global bidding process begun earlier this year that included expressions of interest from numerous major international cities in hosting the richest and most prestigious event on the Sony
Ericsson WTA Tour. The winning city is expected to be announced following the Tour’s Board meetings during Wimbledon later this month.
The Sony Ericsson Championships, which features the top 8 singles players and top 4 doubles teams, has become one of the most coveted sporting events in the world, which as part of the Tour’s strategy has been showcased in different key markets around the globe in world class venues. Over the course of the past years, with the addition of Sony Ericsson as title sponsor and an incredibly successful inaugural year in Madrid, the event has reached new levels of popularity, prestige and global exposure.
“We are thrilled with the level of global interest in hosting the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships,” said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott. “The incredible popularity of women’s tennis around the world, and the equity that has been built in our season-ending crown jewel event, is evidenced by the strength of the bids that each of Bangalore, Doha, Istanbul and Monterrey have put forward. We are thrilled that three different continents are represented among the finalists.”
Added Scott: “Madrid has done a tremendous job in making the Sony Ericsson Championships better than ever, and with the continued support of title sponsor Sony Ericsson, we are confident that our season-ending event will continue to spur global excitement and interest in our sport.”
In its storied history, the Sony Ericsson Championships has been held in internationally renowned cities New York, Munich, Los Angeles and Madrid. Madrid will be the home of one of the Tour’s four “crown-jewel” events under its Roadmap plans beginning in 2009. In Madrid’s first year hosting the Championships in 2006, close to 60,000 spectators attended the Tour’s season-ending event, showcasing women’s tennis at its very best. Remarkable tournament promotion, and sponsor, fan and City of Madrid support, helped solidify Madrid as the Tour’s choice to again host the Sony Ericsson Championships in 2007.
Last year’s move to a major European market in Madrid represented another upward turn for the storied Championships, which showed significant increases in attendance and fan interest during its tenure in Los Angeles and now is buoyed by the backing of Sony Ericsson, which is driving women’s tennis toward innovative horizons in terms of cutting-edge technology, music, fashion and design since signing a landmark global title sponsorship with the Tour in January 2005.
This year’s Sony Ericsson Championships are expected to be another stellar competition in the event’s long and distinguished history, which dates back to 1972 and has included the all-time greats of the sport, such as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Held at the glitzy Madrid Arena, the event will once again feature the eight greatest singles players of this year and the four preeminent doubles teams in a round-robin format over six days, with the singles winner collecting $1 million in prize money.