Big Time Tennis Tourney Coming To Los Cabos

20,000 people are expected by our tourism officials
BY: CATHY WATKINS

The tennis world will focus on Cabo when it hosts the ATP World Tour 250 tournament this August. The ATP World Tour 250 series is the newest series for tennis tournaments of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) from the 2009 ATP World Tour. It is the lowest tier of events for men on the tour, and is a continuation of the ATP International Series. The series includes 39 tournaments around the world, with 250 rankings points awarded to each singles champion –which accounts for the name of the series.

The tournament will take place from August 8-13th at Cabo del Mar by Portus Group and will be on the premises of the Delmar International School. The Portus Group is the builder of the Ventanas homes on the hill behind Costco, as well as another development behind the Cabo San Lucas Country Club. The new courts are on that piece of land, which is currently under construction, as are the courts.

  The hard court tennis tournament is an ATP 250 with more than $800,000 U.S. in prize money, making it the 4th most significant in its category.

It is expected to draw 20,000 visitors to Los Cabos, which includes spectators and press. If that happens, this will be the largest event to take place in Cabo, so we shall see.

 In order to accommodate such a large number of people in one week, extra flights will be added from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tijuana, Culiacan, and Monterrey. 

The event is also being promoted in Texas and California and a large number from these states are expected to attend.  Ruben Reachi, Tourism Director for Los Cabos, told the press he expects about a 50-50 split in domestic and foreign tourists. (We’re thinking that means he has no idea what the split will be.)

The hotel headquarters will be the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar. 

This tournament had been held in Bogata, Colombia until this year when it was transferred to Los Cabos due to the acquisition of  the event by Grupo Pegaso.  Grupo Pegaso has experience in promoting ATP world tennis tournaments, as for 23 years it has successfully promoted the Acapulco tournament which has an attendance of more than 50,000, and it expects to have the same kind of success with the Los Cabos tournament.

Grupo Pegaso not only promotes the tournament, but the destination of Los Cabos as well. Pegaso is a Mexican owned media and telecommunications, technology, real estate, and oceanographic research company. City officials and the 400 student Delmar International grade school are working closely with Grupo Pegaso to assure the event is a success, which would start off well if the facility is built on time. A ground breaking ceremony was held at the school on May 3. Officials present were Los Cabos Mayor Arturo de La Rosa, Genaro Ruiz, Secretary of Tourism, Rueben Reachi, Fideicomiso and Tourism Director Carlos Escoba, Solaz Commercial Director Rosa Maria Guzman Director of the Delmar International School, and Jose Antonio Fernandez, Director of the Mexican Open Tournament. 

There will be 28 singles players and 16 players of doubles matches.  Several well known players have already been confirmed:

Dominic Thiem | Austria | 15 ATP ranking

Bernard Tomic | Australia | 22 ranking ATP

vo Karlovic | Croatia | 31 ranking ATP

eremy Chardy | France | 33 ranking ATP

Sam Querrey | USA |37 ranking ATP

Fernando Verdasco | Spain | 51 ranking ATP

Tommy Robredo | Spain |72 ranking ATP

We can count on August in Cabo being a scorcher, but this was taken into account when planning the schedule. The games will be played later in the day or at night. Monday through Thursday the games start at 5:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The promoters will also create shaded areas for the peanut gallery.

  Jose Antonio Fernandez, Director of the tournament, says it’s hotter than hell in Australia, too,  and if they can do it why not us?  Well, why not may be the reason nobody higher than 15th in the rankings has signed up for this hardship post.

The facilities are being built as you read this. Grupo Pegaso is working with Grupo Portus, builders of Cabo Delmar school, and the architects and engineers.  The stadium will seat 3,500 people and the grandstand another 1,000.  The tennis courts are a hard court surface with lights for playing at night.  In our inexpert opinion, this project will need to go into turbo drive to complete it in less than three months remaining. 

The school will help to provide the large number of volunteers needed for the event.  A website has already been set up for volunteers.  To jump in on this, go to http://www.abiertoloscabos.com.   Rosa Maria Guzman, director of the school, assures us this type of participation instills values and inspires our students and community. It also is known to bring on heat stroke, but why dwell on the negative?

Only 31 countries in the world can say they have the privilege to host an ATP tournament. This sporting event alone, will impact more than 3 million people around the world through 55 broadcasts in 47 different countries.  ESPN will broadcast 40 hours live, and radio coverage will be by Grupo Imagen.

Arturo de La Rosa, mayor of Los Cabos, enthused that Cabo is already known as an international destination for fishing and golf, and  now tennis can be added to the list.

Tickets are now available online at Ticketmaster Mexico, http://www.abiertoloscabos.com  and http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/tournaments.   Tickets can also be purchased at the tournament’s ticket office at the Delmar International School. Expect to pay about $400 U.S. for a four day pass court side.

Ph. (624) 131 5002 or (624) 105 9357.