The Masters 1000 kicks off today is preparing to change its appearance: the ATP license will go to the multibillionaire Ben Navarro
One of the most important tournaments in the world is about to change masters. And perhaps, who knows, also the headquarters. Let’s talk about Cincinnati, at the start today, one of the two summer Masters 1000 in North America, the last big appointment for the strongest before the US Open. Several sources in recent days have confirmed to SBJ (Sport Business Journal) that the USTA has chosen the offer of the multibillionaire Ben Navarro, founder and CEO of Sherman Financial Group, to purchase the license of the ATP Tour of the Western & Southern Open. The price is still unknown, although sources told SBJ in June that bids of up to $ 250 million were received during the initial bidding process for the Cincinnati event, with at least half a dozen to more than $ 200 million.
Once everything is written down and approved, the go-ahead will be required from the respective boards of ATP and WTA, as Navarro will effectively “rent” the USTA and WTA license of the W&S Open, which is owned by Octagon. It is unclear exactly who submitted the other offers for the tournament, but for sure they are high-profile or deep-pocketed people. There would be Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter who submitted an offer together with Billie Jean King, then Peter Michael Reichel, owner of the Hamburg ATP, Citi Open owner Mark Ein along with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and RedBird Capital .
Navarro and sport
Navarro is no stranger to tennis signings – the Charleston Open (WTA) has been his since 2018 and recently completed a $ 50 million renovation of the Credit One Stadium. Precisely for this reason, the hypothesis that Charleston at this point hosts both the male and the female (the combined), taking the place of Cincinnati in the calendar, is certainly not remote. The USTA declined to comment, but stated that “following a comprehensive process led by Bank of America, the USTA Board of Directors has approved in principle the sale of the men’s ATP Masters 1000 and the transfer of the lease agreement for the WTA tournament in Cincinnati. Before formally announcing a new owner, the USTA must conclude the final terms of the agreement and ATP and WTA must approve the transfer of the two licenses. Once these processes are completed, a formal announcement will be imminent ”.
August 15, 2022 (change August 15, 2022 | 18:47)
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