If you read my previous post about the Farmers Classic, it has been made official, the Farmers Classic held at the UCLA campus is done. It won’t be on the calendar in 2013. Tournament Director, Bob Kramer sent out an email this afternoon;
Dear Loyal Farmers Classic Friend,Back in 1927, who could have imagined a simple tennis tournament played on the intimate grounds of the Los Angeles Tennis Club would grow into the fantastic ATP professional men’s event held at UCLA. Over the years, we have been blessed to have the greatest names in tennis play on our Straus Stadium court: Connors, McEnroe, Borg, Edberg, Krajicek, Becker, Stich, Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Courier, Ivanisevic, Rafter, Kuerten, Hewitt, Safin, Roddick, Bryans, del Potro, Haas, Blake, Querrey, and Murray, just to name a few.For the past 3-4 years, the Southern California Tennis Association and UCLA have been fighting to keep this historic ATP 250 event alive. The extended US economic slump, combined with the lack of available marquee players, and a scarcity of American tennis stars has now overcome our ability to continue covering the losses generated by the Tournament. The conditions outlined above were also significant factors in the non-renewal of our two principal sponsors, Farmers Insurance and Mercedes-Benz.
We have worked closely with the University, the local tennis community, the tennis industry, the ATP, the USTA, and others to find an acceptable solution. However, we have been unable to produce an acceptable resolution for saving the Tournament. Our search for a suitable investor or strategic partner, which would allow us to keep our event in Los Angeles and on the UCLA campus, has included more than a year of exploration and serious meetings, but has not yielded the results we had hoped for and needed. Regrettably, the only viable option is to discontinue holding the Tournament and sell our sanction to an interested party.
Therefore, and in consultation with UCLA, the SCTA Board of Directors recently voted to approve the sale of our ATP sanction to tennis interests in Bogota, Colombia. If approved by the ATP Board, the pending sale would take effect in 2013. In the meantime, the SCTA will continue to focus on its core mission of promoting and developing the growth of tennis, and will remain headquartered at UCLA for the foreseeable future.
In closing and on the eve of Thanksgiving, thank you very much for your dedicated support of the Farmers Classic and tennis throughout Southern California. Your interest and support have been essential for the ongoing success of the UCLA – Tennis Association partnership and are deeply appreciated.