Turin breaks London's hold on ATP Finals
Turin was today unveiled as the next host of the ATP Finals, the season-ending event on the men's tennis calendar.
The Italian city will stage the tournanment between 2021 and 2025 at the Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena.
Turin will succeed London, whose O2 Arena has staged the ATP Finals since 2009 and will do so for the final time next year.
The ATP launched a global tender process last year, which was managed by the Sport Business Group at Deloitte, the global advisory firm, and attracted interest from 40 cities worldwide.
Turin saw off competition from London, Manchester, another UK city, Singapore and Tokyo to land the five-year contract.
The event offer record prize money of $14.5 million in its first year in Italy.
The winning Turin bid was put together by the Italian Tennis Federation and Sport e Salute SpA in partnership with the Italian government, the municipality of Turin and Regione Piemonte.
Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said: “Our congratulations to Turin on putting together such a comprehensive and impressive bid. Italy provides us with one of the strongest and most established tennis markets in Europe and has a proven track record for hosting world class tennis events with the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, as well as the Next Gen ATP Finals [for the top young players] in Milan. We’re delighted to expand on our successful partnership with the FIT and Sport e Salute SpA and we look forward to bringing the ATP’s flagship season-ending event to tennis’ growing fanbase in Italy for the first time.
Kermode added: “The success of the ATP Finals is critical to the health of the ATP and we believe that Turin has all the ingredients to take the event to new heights and to continue the tournament’s growth following a highly successful 12-year stint in London that will come to an end in 2020. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our event partners in London, particularly AEG, and all the fans that have made the tournament such a success at The O2 since 2009.”
Chiara Appendino, mayor of Turin, said: “We are extremely proud that Turin has been chosen to host the ATP Finals 2021-2025 as sport has long been a significant part of the history and the culture of our city. As a city we will come together to harness the knowhow of a vast range of local experts in organising international sporting events and we are confident that our unique combination of passion and experience will deliver opportunities to appreciate this exhilarating sport in sustainable and innovative ways.”
Turin will become the 15th city to host the ATP Finals since its inception in 1970.
Prior to the ATP Finals moving to London the event was held at a variety of venues, including a 13-year spell at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the 1970s and 1980s. Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai all played host in the 2000s.
Meanwhile, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, a second-tier men’s ATP Tour 500 event, will continue to sport the Spanish city's name until at least 2020, when IMG's contract to operate the tournament ends.
This year's Barcelona Open got under way on Monday, and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau has committed funding from the city for another year.
The city council supports the tournament to the tune of around €1 million ($1.12 million) per year, giving it a presence within the hospitality area of the tournament, where various promotional events are held, and some 1,600 tickets to be handed out to local schoolchildren.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Kosmos, the sports and media investment group founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué that is helping to bankroll the revamped Davis Cup, the men’s national teams tennis competition, is among the agencies vying with incumbent IMG to operate the Barcelona Open.
Octagon, another global agency prominent in tennis, and Tennium, another Spanish group involved in the ATP tournaments in Antwerp and Buenos Aires, are also interested in the contract, according to reports.