NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Tennis, anyone? The New Haven Open, served up each August at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, is coming under new ownership -- the state of Connecticut government.
The state intends to purchase the rights to the tournament for $618,000 from the United States Tennis Association in order to keep the tournament in Connecticut, it announced Thursday afternoon.
Without the purchase, the tournament would likely have moved to Winston-Salem, N.C., state Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes said.
The Capital Region Development Authority will be voting on the purchase of the New Haven Open tennis tournament at a meeting next Thursday, Oct. 17. Barnes said he was confident that it would be approved. The legislature will not have to vote on the purchase Barnes said, because the authority has autonomy in a situation like this.
“We felt that between the quantifiable economic impact and the harder to quantify impacts of identity were beyond value,” Barnes said in a news conference to explain the state's decision to go into the tennis business.
An economic impact study conducted in 2008 found that the tennis tournament generates $26 million in regional economic impact, including nearly 300 jobs and $1.1 million in state tax revenue.
Since the tournament started 16 years ago, it has been a place for community involvement and played an active role in the economic development of both New Haven and the state, Tournament Director Anne Worcester said in the new conference.
The state has been one of six main sponsors of the tennis tournament. With its increased involvement, Worcester said she hopes the state might allocate further funds to improve the infrastructure of the stadium.
“This tournament has created both economic and community development opportunities in the City of New Haven for 16 years,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “Economic development for our urban environments, and the state as a whole, is a fundamental component of the state’s agenda and we view the New Haven Open as another chapter in bolstering this effort. We know that Connecticut is a great state for women’s sports, and this is another fantastic way to ensure that continues to be the case in 2014 and beyond.”