Deal keeps Indian Wells in United States

March 1, 2006 at 3:07 PM
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INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Tennis Association, a magazine and tennis greats joined to keep a prestigious but money-troubled tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., a report said.

Directors of the Pacific Life Open are poised to announce a financial package to keep the tournament from moving to Qatar or Shanghai, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The USTA is contributing an estimated $3 million to $5 million to the effort that includes the publisher of Tennis Magazine, the City of Indian Wells and tennis stars Pete Sampras, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King.

"I just believed it would be a shame to lose this tournament," Sampras said. "To have it leave the country would have been a big blow."

The Pacific Open is No. 2 in U.S. attendance and No. 3, behind the U.S. Open and Nasdaq tournament in Miami, with $5.2 million in prize money.

The deal will allow 50-percent stakeholder IMG to withdraw from the venture, which ran into problems following construction of a $77 million stadium in 2000.

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