‘It Must Be Love’

Arguably the greatest tennis player of all time, and the current world #1 Roger Federer just won his 16th Masters event in Cincinnati today over world #4 Novak Djokovic in straight sets (6-1, 7-5). Sold out crowds greeted the top players in the world all week long in one of the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world.

The Western & Southern Financial Group Masters sets the stage for the biggest tournament in the world, the US Open, that will start August 31 and run through September 13 in New York. If the international competition doesn’t get you jazzed up, then maybe the 23,200 fans at Arthur Ashe Stadium will.


This Week In Soapbox 8/18

This Week in Soapbox (TWIS) you can read about the new upgrades for Cincinnati’s premier tennis tournament, a new restaurant in Covington with a European flair, a brownfield to alternative energy project in Hamilton, new homes in Avondale, the Northern Kentucky Regional Farmers Market, and a special event in historic Over-the-Rhine.

If you’re interested in staying in touch with some of the latest development news in Cincinnati please check out this week’s stories and sign up for the weekly E-Zine sent out by Soapbox Cincinnati. Also be sure to become a fan of Soapbox on Facebook!

TWIS 8/18:

  • Cincinnati tennis tournament growing with $10M expansionfull article
  • $780,000 gift to produce second of ten homes for Cincinnati Habitatfull article
  • $2M Clean Ohio grant could turn Hamilton brownfield site into alternative energy facilityfull article
  • Over-the-Rhine: Cincinnati’s Overlooked Opportunityfull article
  • Northern Kentucky Farmers Market brings fresh produce and fun atmosphere to Mainstrassefull article
  • Europa opens on Main Street in downtown Covingtonfull article

$10M expansion and upgrade for Cincy tennis stadium

There have been rumors about an major upgrade for the stadium court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Those rumors are rumors no more as tournament officials have announced a $10 million expansion and upgrade project that will start immediately following the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in two weeks and be ready in time for next year’s events.

The $10 million project will be funded by the USTA, a majority partner in the tournament, and Cincinnati’s Tennis for Charity. The upgrade will add an additional 890 stadium seats, 6 new luxury suites, major media facility upgrades, and player amenity improvements that will clear the way for the now separate men’s and women’s tournaments to be combined and held simultaneously…all making the biggest summer tennis tournament in the United States, outside of the US Open, even bigger.

The most prominent addition will be the new 52,000 square-foot West Building that will house the new luxury suites, seating capacity, player and media facilities. Tournament officials say that the new West Building will be twice as tall as the existing structure and rise some 97 feet above court level.

Here is a breakdown of the new features:

  • A 21,000 square-foot court-level (below grade) player area with two locker rooms (each accommodating more than 100 players), private training rooms, locker rooms for male and female coaches, and a 2,200 square-foot fitness area among other amenities
  • An 8,000-square foot space on the ground floor which includes a 5,500 square-foot indoor player lounge and offices for the ATP World Tour and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
  • An 11,000 square-foot second floor for player dining, a warming kitchen and storage
  • A 4,800 square-foot outdoor player lounge on the roof of the second floor
  • A 6,300 square foot third floor for interview rooms, featuring a main interview room and three additional interview rooms
  • A 4,800 square foot Media Center on the fourth floor with more than 100 stations for writers and photographers
  • Six new luxury suites overlooking Center Court
  • 750 new covered loge-level seats
  • The addition of 140 seats in the northwest corner of Center Court

"Indy’s biggest problem is Cincinnati"

Robby Ginepri defeated Sam Querrey this past Sunday at the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. The Indy tournament is the first tournament of the Olympus US Open Series that leads up to, you guessed it, the US Open on August 31 through September 13.

What was noticeable about the Indy championship match was the non-sold out center court that seats 10,000. I have annually made the trip up to Mason to attend Cincinnati’s premier tennis tournament now know as the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, and have grown accustomed to its vibrant feel and capacity crowds. ESPN’s Peter Bodo notes that:

“Indy’s big problem is Cincinnati, which is exactly 103 miles away. Cincinnati is the home of the hugely successful Western and Southern Financial Group Masters (an ungainly title for a great hard-court tournament that is perfectly positioned as the key warm-up event for the U.S. Open). Cincy’s prestige and consistently top-drawer field helps define Indianapolis, but not in a good way. Which tournament would you attend, Terre Haute, Ind.?”

One thing I have been predicting for some time now, is that the tennis powers-at-be have big plans for the Cincinnati tournament. The long-time men’s only draw has been joined by a complimentary women’s tournament that either precedes or follows the main men’s tournament. Just shortly after being around, ATP officials upgraded the women’s tournament to a status near that of the men’s. Facility upgrades including increased seating capacities, box seats and more are on the way for the Linder Tennis Center.

This all seems to be setting the stage for a combined two-week long event that would have both women and men competing at the same time. The end result would make the Cincinnati tournament (whatever it is called at that time) one of the biggest in the world. You would have the four Grand Slam events (New York, London, Paris, Melbourne). The Cincinnati tournament would then be in the next elite tier of tennis tournaments in the world.

If you haven’t been up to Mason to check out the competition of the world’s best tennis players in a fantastic facility and fan-friendly environment, then I suggest looking into getting tickets to this year’s tournament from August 8 through August 23. Check out CincyTennis for all the information on the event, getting tickets and much more.