British Open Boosted By New Five-Year Deal Guaranteeing Elevated Status
The new agreement follows a three-year deal struck between the parties in August 2005 which led to successful stagings of the 'Wimbledon of Squash' in Manchester in October the same year and at the University of Nottingham in September 2006.
The Dunlop British Open – Manchester 2007 will be held at the National Squash Centre, home of the sport's Commonwealth Games action in 2002, from 18-24 September.
The men's event will feature PSA Super Series status for the first time since 2001, with the women's championship at WISPA Gold level.
The two main events - which will be run alongside the world's most successful annual Masters Championships, comprising 13 age-group events from O35 to O70 - will be guaranteed to maintain this prize-level status from 2007 until 2012.
"We are looking forward to building on the strengths of the relationship that we have developed with Paul Walters and his internationalSPORTgroup," said England Squash Chief Executive Nick Rider.
"The British Open is our strongest brand – and this five-year agreement marks a new era for these prestigious and historic championships, guaranteeing Super Series and WISPA Gold as minimum status levels for at least the next six years. We share joint ambitions to continue to restore this great event to its proper position as the world's premier championship."
Paul Walters, of internationalSPORTgroup, added: "This exciting new agreement demonstrates our continued commitment to working in partnership with England Squash in establishing a solid framework for the future of the British Open which will see the tournament flourish as the most prestigious squash championships in the world.
“internationalSPORTgroup are determined to make this new era for the British Open a huge success and we are delighted to be working in partnership with England Squash, with whom we share a new vision for the event," explained Walters.
England Squash Chairman Zena Wooldridge concluded: "I'm delighted that we're developing our relationship with the internationalSPORTgroup with this agreement. It builds on two successful years including a fantastic 2006 Open in Nottingham and the prospect of another great event in Manchester next year."