Lucrative Shenzhen offer seals 10-year WTA Finals contract
Shenzhen, in southeastern China, has today been awarded a 10-year contract to host women's tennis' season-ending WTA Finals from 2019.
Shenzhen was one of five cities to submit a bid to the WTA, the others being Singapore, whose five-year contact expires this year, Manchester in the UK, St Petersburg in Russia and the Czech capital Prague.
Cities were able to submit bids for varying durations, but Shenzhen's bumper 10-year offer, which includes doubling the prize money to $14 million per year and building a new 12,000-seat stadium, won out.
Steve Simon, chairman and chief executive of the WTA, said: "This will easily be the largest and most significant WTA Finals deal in the 45 years since the WTA was founded and promises to take the event to a spectacular new level."
Micky Lawler, WTA president, added: "Shenzhen is an exciting, fast-evolving metropolis of 68 million people and staging the WTA Finals there will ensure the WTA’s global fan base goes from strength to strength."
China already hosts seven WTA events, including one in Shenzhen in the build-up to the Australian Open, and is home to two of the tour's leading sponsors in global premier partner iQiyi, the digital video platform, and regional premier partner for Asia-Pacific Peak, the sportswear brand.
Liu Fengning, general manager, Shenzhen Gemdale Sports Industry Co., Ltd, added: "This world class event will attract local and foreign tennis fans and add to Shenzhen’s reputation as an outward-looking and vibrant global city. We embrace the WTA’s values of inclusiveness and equality, and are grateful for the opportunity to add to China’s tennis legacy by staging an event that encourages young generations to take up the sport."
Shenzhen will become the 10th city to stage the WTA Finals. As well as Singapore, the event has been held in Istanbul, Doha, Madrid, Munich and the US cities of New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and Boca Raton in Florida.