INDIANAPOLIS—INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (WXIN) - Organizers of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships have announced they plan to sell the sanctioning rights for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event.
The move, we're told, will likely cost the city the tournament it has hosted for some 80 years.
Tournament Director Kevin Martin said Monday that the event's nonprofit group faced serious economic challenges and had explored all options to keep it in Indianapolis.
Martin wouldn't say where the tournament might move, but said a sale was expected by the end of December.
The Indianapolis Business Journal is reporting the tournament is heading to Atlanta. That insight came in the form of a marketing web page that has since been taken down from the internet.
"That advertisement was very specific in saying that a TV package was put together with the Tennis Channel and ESPN 2 and that the dates had been secured and the deal is done," reporter Anthony Schoettle told FOX 59.
The summer tournament on the IUPUI campus has been part of the U.S. Open Series.
Its attendance reached nearly 100,000 fans when it drew stars such as John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.
RCA ended its sponsorship deal after the 2006 event and attendance dropped to about 41,000 this year as fewer big names played.
Five Seasons Sports Club tennis pro, P.A. Nilhagen, says the event's departure is not a sign of troubled times in local tennis.
"We've got great adult programs, junior programs and our summer schedule is very busy as it is. So, that's not going to effect the interest of tennis by no means," says Nilhagen.