NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – One of the premier events on the local sports calendar is about to get underway. They’re getting the Connecticut Tennis Center cleaned up and ready, because the gates open for the CT Open in just two days. The new restaurants and lounges are already in place around the stadium.
“The restaurant on the far side is a new restaurant called the Champions Grill presented by Key Bank, and it’s where all of our weeklong boxholders, including our sponsors will gather all week for networking and socializing,” said Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
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Worcester says there are more drinking and dining options than every before, including nine food trucks instead of last year’s five, and the big new structure they are installing right now, the New Amsterdam Vodka Bar.
“It’s basically a brand new lounge where people can come and relax in between matches, during matches,” said Worcester. “It’s all a big party and some people never even watch tennis because they love the festival that wraps tennis.”
The open has a new sponsor that is going to be very visible: Porsche. You’ll see impressive sports cars around town, taking players to and from the airport, to and from hotels, and there will be some on the grounds as well.
“This is going to be the new Porsche social zone,” Worcester said, pointing to the stadium entryway. “So we’re going to have two car displays, I think it’s going to be a 911 and a Panamera.”
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The main attraction is tennis, of course. They have some of the top women’s player in the world coming, as well as Martina Navratilova playing an exhibition mixed doubles match against Mats Wilander, and the legends matches featuring James Blake, John MacEnroe, Mark Philippoussis and Michael Chang. There is always much more to do off the court, however.
“On Shop Rite kids day, Beardsley Zoo will be here during the day,” said Worcester. “Then every night Monday through Friday we have live music on the Connecticut stage, as always.”
Some highlights to keep in mind: Qualifying play begins Friday, Kids Day is Sunday, Opening night is Monday, and play continues right through next Saturday.
For a complete schedule, click here