The Connecticut Open no longer hosted in New Haven, moving to China
NEW HAVEN — After 21 years of hosting the Connecticut Open, New Haven will no longer stage a WTA Premier tournament after the Connecticut Open sold its sanction on the WTA calendar.
In the five months since the conclusion of the 2018 tournament, The Tennis Foundation of Connecticut (TFC) Board conducted an extensive analysis of the financial model of the Connecticut Open and deemed it is not viable without a Title Sponsor. Following an exhaustive sponsor search – and after careful deliberation – the TFC Board has made the decision to sell the Premier WTA sanction to APG, a leading Sports and Entertainment company with a strong footprint in Asia. The tournament will take place in week 37 of the calendar, from September 9-15 2019, in Zhengzhou City, China.
While the sale means that the tournament – a stalwart and celebrated event on the WTA calendar since 1998 – will not take place in New Haven in August 2019 and beyond, the TFC Board is committed to exploring whether another WTA or professional tennis event can be drawn to the city at a more sustainable level.
The Connecticut Open, the third best attended women’s-only WTA tournament in 2018 and a not-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization, has generated more than $10 million annually in economic impact for the City of New Haven and State of Connecticut and provides significant philanthropic support for local organizations, as well as attracting the top female players from around the globe to New Haven the week before the US Open.
“It has been an amazing 21-year run for women’s professional tennis in New Haven and we are truly grateful to all the fans, volunteers, players, media and sponsors involved,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester. “While we remember our great champions, we are most proud of the benefits the tournament has brought to the local community. In particular we would like to thank the State of Connecticut, City of New Haven, Board of Alders, Yale University, Yale New Haven Health, WTA, USTA and USTA New England, all of whom have supported and contributed to the Connecticut Open for more than two decades. We have many memories to cherish both on and off the court.”
“Our non-profit foundation is grateful to have had the opportunity to positively impact Connecticut,” said Chris Shackelton, Chairman of the TFC. “As we look to the future, we will remain actively involved in New Haven, leveraging our resources and strong partnerships with Yale University and Yale New Haven Health, to invest in valuable programs and events for the benefit of our State and local community.”
Mayor Toni Harp added: “The Connecticut Open has had an undeniably positive impact on New Haven over the past 21 years, in terms of economic impact, its commitment to fulfilling its non-profit mission by giving back to local causes, and in putting the City of New Haven, its restaurants, culture, and Yale University on center court in front of a global audience. We remain hopeful that professional tennis will return to New Haven in the very near future.”