GF Sports, a live events and sports media entertainment company, has partnered with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) to move the Memphis Open men’s tennis tournament to NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is located on Long Island in New York. As part of the long-term agreement, the Coliseum, which reopened on April 5 following a nearly two-year, $165 million renovation, will host the tournament for the first time from February 10-18, 2018. The Memphis Open, which was acquired by GF Sports in 2015, is one of the longest-running American tournaments on the ATP World Tour and the only indoor ATP event contested in the United States.
“We are proud to partner with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment to bring the historic Memphis Open to the new Coliseum,” said Gary Fuhrman, Managing Partner at GF Capital and Board Member of GF Sports. “The spotlight of New York will help to elevate this important tournament and this move is part of GF Sports’ larger goal of re-establishing American tennis as a global powerhouse within the sport.”
“This event diversifies our programming mix at NYCB LIVE’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and further delivers on our promise to bring major sporting events back to Long Island,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “I also want to thank Gary Fuhrman and his team for the opportunity to bring world-class tennis to Long Island and for working with Jeff Gewirtz, our Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, to consummate our partnership.”
The New York Metropolitan area has a rich tennis history highlighted by the U.S. Open, one of the most well attended annual sporting events in the world. The arrival of this ATP World Tour event will add another major tennis event to the New York sports calendar, and marks the first time in its 45-year history that the Coliseum will play host to a sanctioned tennis tournament. The event adds to the Coliseum’s growing lineup of top entertainment and sports events following the unveiling of new first-class amenities for fans, performers, and athletes, as part of top-to-bottom renovations, making it Long Island’s premier entertainment destination.
Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: "GF Sports has shown a strong commitment to invest in professional tennis with a particular focus on the United States. They have demonstrated their ability to operate ATP tournaments, including the Memphis Open, with the goal of growing the sport. The relocation of the Memphis Open to New York and to the newly renovated Coliseum is consistent with their vision, and will elevate this tournament, with over 40 years of history, to a new level of excellence."
The Memphis Open is an ATP World Tour 250 event that was established in 1976 and boasts a who’s who in the tennis world as former champions, including Andre Agassi, Björn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Stefan Edberg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Kei Nishikori, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras. In recent years, young American players have emerged at the tournament, including 2017 winner Ryan Harrison and 2016 runner-up Taylor Fritz.
Similar to years past, in addition to showcasing top men’s singles and doubles talent, GF Sports will look to add complimentary entertainment programming to the week-long tournament schedule and establish community platforms and grassroots initiatives to embrace the event’s new home.
Moving the Memphis Open is part of GF Sports’ overall commitment to supporting the growth of American tennis and another step in the company’s expansion as it continues to actively look for investment and acquisition opportunities in sports and entertainment.
GF Sports has a long-term agreement with Lagardère Sports for worldwide television rights to the Memphis Open that will continue at the new home of this event on Long Island. Participants and ticket information for the tournament will be announced at a later date. To stay up to date on all the latest news surrounding the event visit NYCBLIVE.com.