GF SPORTS PARTNERS WITH BROOKLYN SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT TO MOVE THE MEMPHIS OPEN MEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT TO NYCB LIVE’s NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM STARTING IN 2018
The Event is one of the Longest-Running North American Tournaments on the ATP World Tour
LONG ISLAND (April 10, 2017) – 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.
About GF Sports
GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital. Formed in July 2015, the GF Sports event portfolio includes two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments – the Memphis Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, the world renown BNP Paribas Showdown played at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden, as well as World Tennis Day, the annual and worldwide celebration of the sport of tennis.
GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016; Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company; and EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters. Additionally, GF Capital incubates new and emerging sport concepts utilizing its global perspective to help develop niche sports. In this vein, GF Capital has partnered with the Wolfpack Ninjas, widely known for their performance on the hit series “American Ninja Warrior”, to operate the Wolfpack Ninja Tour. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.
For additional information, please visit www.gfcap.com.
About Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE) develops and operates state-of-the-art venues and manages premier sports franchises, delivering dynamic content and experiences for audiences. BSE oversees programming, marketing, sales, and operations for Barclays Center and NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented By New York Community Bank, and manages and controls the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and its Development League team, the Long Island Nets, as well as the business operations of the NHL’s New York Islanders.
Barclays Center, which opened on September 28, 2012, offers 17,732 seats for basketball, 15,795 for hockey, and up to 19,000 seats for concerts, and has 101 luxury suites, four bars/lounges, four clubs, and 40/40 CLUB & Restaurant by Tanduay.
NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, is scheduled to reopen April 5, 2017 after extensive renovation. The Coliseum offers 14,500 seats for basketball, MMA and boxing, 13,900 for hockey, up to 16,000 for concerts, and 4,500 seats for its theater configuration. With a focus on emerging businesses, BSE identifies and creates alliances, strategic partnerships and other business opportunities to ensure the success of its assets.
For additional information, please visit brooklynse.com.
About The ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2017 ATP World Tour No. 1 presented by Emirates.
For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.
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