ISTANBUL, Turkey - The WTA has announced the four Candidate Cities that are bidding to host the WTA Championships from 2014 and beyond. Based on their applicant files, the cities of Kazan, Russia; Mexico City, Mexico; Singapore; and Tianjin, China have been selected by the WTA to enter the final phase of the bidding process. The four Candidate Cities were selected following an initial phase that saw 43 interested parties expressing interest in hosting the WTA Championships. The winning city will be announced in the spring of 2013.
The WTA Championships - with a global audience across 167 countries and a storied forty-year history of being hosted in a handful of iconic places - features the world's Top 8 singles players and, beginning in 2014, Top 8 doubles teams competing for one of the most prestigious titles in women's tennis.
"The WTA Championships is today recognized as one of a handful of truly blue chip international events, currently delivering over $140 million of economic and media value to the host city," said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO. "Our plans for developing additional interactive events including a three day fan festival will ensure the benefits to our next host city partner are even greater. We were delighted with the 43 Expressions of Interest we received and in finalizing our Candidate Cities, we believe we have an outstanding shortlist from which we will find the next host for the world's premier sporting event for women."
"A trip to the WTA Championships, and the right to battle for such a prestigious title and possibly the No.1 ranking is the goal of every single player," Maria Sharapova said. "Having only the best of the best together always makes for an incredibly exciting finale to each WTA season. And having the chance to bring our best event to new cities is always exciting for players and fans."
The 2012 WTA Championships - sponsored by BNP Paribas and its Turkish partner Türk Ekonomi Bankasý (TEB), as well as Rolex, Sony Xperia, Oriflame and others - has taken place in Istanbul this week where it has been a hugely successful event. This year, it registered the highest attendance in 13 years and set record broadcast and digital audience milestones. The TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships also broadcast more than 500 hours of coverage in 167 countries through 22 international TV broadcasters, the widest reach of a WTA Championships to date, delivering over $100 million of global media value and more than $40 million of economic impact to Istanbul, the host city. The WTA Championships will remain in Istanbul through the year 2013.
London-based international sports marketing agency, The Sports Consultancy, is managing the WTA Championships bid process and will shortly be visiting all Candidate Cities to review their bids, leading to the final selection in 2013.