CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A major tennis tournament that was considering moving from Ohio to North Carolina has announced it’s staying right where it is.
In an announcement posted to social media on Tuesday, Oct. 10, the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament said it is staying in the other Queen City.
“We were in a competitive situation,” said Warren County, Ohio, commissioner Dave Young. “Charlotte is a great city. They had an unbelievable offer put forward, but ultimately, at the end of the day, this tournament has been here for 124 years, and we did not want to lose our one global asset.”
The social media video features star tennis players Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff, who both won the tournament in August 2023.
“It’s going to be bigger and better, forever,” Gauff says in the video.
In May, Queen City News’ sister station reported that the Western & Southern Open has resided in Ohio since the tennis tournament started in 1899.
After being purchased by Beemok Capital in 2022, the longtime tournament considered moving out of Ohio. The new owners of the tennis tournament were considering moving the Open away from just north of Cincinnati to Charlotte as part of “Project Break Point.”
In June, the city approved $65 million for the mega-complex as part of the River District in west Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County offered another $30 million. There would have been four major stadiums, including a 14,000-seat center court that would hold the Western & Southern Open as well as concerts and other entertainment.
Charlotte was in the running with at least one other U.S. city for the event, Beemok told City Council the summer.
“Disappointed for our community,” said Charlotte city council member Malcolm Graham. “For the travel and tourism industry. I thought we put our best foot forward in terms of a proposal.”
Project Break Point renderings were initially released in May:
What does this mean for the River District stadium moving forward? Queen City News reached out to the City of Charlotte for comment on this major development.
The City of Charlotte released the following statement:
“We are disappointed that we didn’t have this tournament relocated to Charlotte. We want to thank all our partners, including Charlotte City Council, all of the city departments who worked on this, as well as Mecklenburg County, the state and our state legislators, Crescent Communities, and everyone in the community who worked very hard on this opportunity.
Ultimately, this was not about the public support in Charlotte but reflected current economics. According to a letter received from Beemok, their ‘decision to stay was multi-faceted, but the consistent escalation of costs to construct a facility of this scale proved to be too much.'”
The next Western & Southern Open will be held Aug. 11-19, 2024.