Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Talking Turkey: The New Venue Adds Allure

It's been a fantastic new beginning for the WTA Championships in Turkey. Istanbul, the eighth different city to host the Championships since the event began in 1972 in Boca Raton, has done a wonderful job of making the event appealing to the fans in attendance, but more importantly, the venue looks great on TV.

Today's attendance, listed at more than 11,000, was impressive, but at the end of the day, the majority of tennis fans will watch this event from their televisions or computers, so it is equally important that the event look dazzling from a media perspective as much as it is from an in-person perspective.

After three not-so-ready-for-primetime years in Doha, the event has definitely been upgraded in that regard, and while it might not seem like the most important thing in the world, the decision to turn the lights down in the crowd and let the players duke it out under the lights adds sizzle to the event.

Even if all the seats in the upper tiers of the stadium aren't occupied, we the television viewers of the world can imagine that they are. And with a packed lower bowl, full of enthusiastic tennis lovers, it's not hard at all to do so.

To me, this is a huge upgrade from what the WTA championships looked like when they were held in Doha from 2008-2010. The atmosphere in Turkey is far more electric, and it makes a huge difference. In Doha, I kept thinking to myself "why are they holding the event here?" but now that it's in Turkey I keep thinking "Why don't they just keep it here?"

I've heard some complaints about the purple and green court colors, but I think it's just fine.

How about you?

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