WTA Launches Process To Host Championships For 2014 And Beyond
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The WTA’s year-end finale – with a global audience across 164 countries and a storied 40-year history of being hosted in a handful of iconic world cities – features the world’s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams competing for one of the most coveted titles in women’s tennis and a share of the multi-million prize money.
“The WTA Championships has gone from strength to strength over the past four decades, and is today recognized as one of a handful of truly blue chip international events on the world sporting calendar,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman & CEO of the WTA. “Based on the significant demand by numerous cities around the world to invest in women’s tennis and host our year-end WTA Championships, we decided to launch an international bidding process to select a host city for 2014 and beyond. It’s a chance for some city somewhere to step up on the world stage. We are confident that through this process we will be able to identify the right city to become the next partner for the world’s premier sporting event for women.”
“A trip to the WTA Championships, and the right to battle for such a prestigious title and possibly the World No.1 ranking, is the goal of every single player,” said World No.2 and three-time Grand Slam Champion Maria Sharapova. “Having only the best of the best together always makes for an incredibly exciting finale to each WTA season. And having the chance to bring our best event to new cities is always exciting for the players and fans.”
In order to showcase the best of women’s tennis to fans around the world, continuously expand the sport, and grow its value and fan base, the WTA has had a successful strategy of rotating its year-end Championships to different global markets. The WTA’s season-ending crown jewel has held in only a handful of world class cities including New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Madrid, Doha and Istanbul. The roster of former WTA Championships winners reads as a who’s who of the legends of the game, including Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova.
The 2011 WTA Championships – sponsored by BNP Paribas and its Turkish partnerTürk Ekonomi Bankasý (TEB), as well as Rolex, Turkish Airlines, Sony Xperia, Oriflame and others, and held in Istanbul for the first of three years – was a hugely successful event, registering the highest attendance in 12 years, and setting recordbroadcast and digital audience milestones. The 2011 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships broadcast more than 400 hours of live coverage in 164 countries through 22 international TV broadcasters, the widest reach of a WTA Championships to date. The WTA Championships will remain in Istanbul through 2013.