March 18, 2007
An interview with:
CHARLIE PASARELL and
CHARLIE PASARELL: I'll start off by saying about the things that I was saying earlier on in the tournament. I said we don't have Federer, but we sure have the weather. So obviously, you know. We are thinking it may have gotten a little bit too warm towards the end, but certainly it's a lot different than what we experienced last year, those storms and the cold weather. And that's obviously helped the tournament attendance, you know, tremendously.
So as of yesterday, we're at 288,000, maybe some of you guys know that. So we expect to crack the 300,000, total attendance this year. And that's a very, you know, sort of a mark that we set ourselves to try to reach and we've succeeded in doing that. So obviously we feel very good about that.
Raymond, I don't know, you want to jump in?
RAYMOND MOORE: No, no. I just think that this year, I think the tournament took on a new life. I think that last year we just sort of barely saved the tournament, you know, from moving, and our focus was elsewhere other than actually the tournament, running the tournament. It was, you know, preserving the tournament. And as we wrote in the program, you know, what a difference a year makes. I mean, you know, it's like I'm totally relaxed this year about the tournament and where it's going, et cetera, because we know it's here. It's going to be here for at least the next 20 years, at least. And that's our contract with the city.
So, you know, it's a feeling of relief, you know. We don't have to -- you know, those were sort of battles we were having outside of actual tennis issues of running the tournament. And this year, we've been able to focus on running the tournament and getting everything done and doing it in a better way, and it showed.
I also think the tennis public, in my opinion, have really embraced this tournament and it's shown with the attendance. You know, the matches we've had have just been phenomenal, I mean phenomenal. To have, you know, Murray and Haas play that match and have a full house and on an evening session and nobody leave and not an American player. Haas and Murray I think really shows the progress we've made in this event.
I really think that the event has arrived, and, you know, I don't think that was the case. I think we were always very good and successful in the past, but I truly think this year is the landmark year.
CHARLIE PASARELL: I just want to add that saying all of that, it doesn't mean that we are, you know, saying, "Okay, great. We're there already. We don't need to worry about anything else."
No, that's not the case. You know, we're already trying to talk about all the different kinds of things that we want to do to continue to move this event forward, maybe even expanding on the facilities on a more permanent basis. We're already going through at least the analysis process of how do we get that done. And, you know, there's only one thing that they can accuse us of trying to do here and that is to build the biggest event in the world. That's our objective.
And I know that sometimes, you know, that's a hard thing to accomplish, but, you know, if you don't think that way, but if you play tennis and you don't think that you want to be No. 1 in the world, you'll probably never make the top 10.
So that's kind of the way Raymond and I feel about this event. We want to be the best tournament in the world and see where we end up. It may take some time to maybe even start knocking on the doors of the slams, but, you know, we want to try to do that. They have the traditions. They have everything going for them, but we want to try to emulate them. And that's kind of what I think is the friendly competition that exists between all events.
And all events should do exactly what we're trying to do because the only one that wins in the situation is the sport. And if everybody tries to get better and better and bigger and better, I think the sport is the biggest winner.
Q. What does Miami draw? What kind of attendance do they have?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Ray, do you know.
RAYMOND MOORE: Yeah. They do about 270,000, and then again, also understand Miami is a smaller stadium.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They do a magnificent job. They really do. Interestingly, we share a lot of our ideas and concepts and vice versa, you know, with them. And we are in constant sort of communications with them, because, once again, you know, if they get better, we'll try to get better; and if we try to get better, they'll try to get better. We try not to keep secrets. It's not about trying to keep our secrets. It's just about trying to push each other to be better.
Q. If you share, what would you suggest to them to avoid to have the quarterfinals between two women with like 500 people, like Golovin/Bammer? What would you suggest them to avoid that?
RAYMOND MOORE: You know, I mean, you're talking about a really unusual -- I mean, you're really going to the opposite spectrum there. Give us a break. That match there, it was 100 degrees; it's 20 degrees more than we normally have. It was unbelievably hot, and you're talking about the end of the day. So I think that's really skewed. That's not a fair remark.
Q. So what would you do?
RAYMOND MOORE: What would you tell Miami to do, move to the Arctic so they don't have humidity? They have weather problems, too.
Q. You know if you plan that match at the end of the afternoon, it's gonna be hot.
RAYMOND MOORE: What were the two matches before that? What were the two matches before that.
Q. I don't remember.
RAYMOND MOORE: Yeah, you don't remember because they were the other singles and a men's singles. What do you do? Play all three at once?
We want to keep the players as much as we can towards the end of the tournament on the show court. That's what we want to do. It is unfortunate sometimes at the end of the day when people have been sitting out in 100-degree weather and they've been there for five, six hours, the third match of the day or the last match of the day suffers in attendance and focus.
I was embarrassed the other night - which night was it - after the Haas/Murray match. We had a full house and it was a three-hour match and everyone left, and there were like 100 people left for the women's doubles. We can't control that. I mean, that's, you know, that's just life.
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's a, you know, I think you see that at the U.S. Open; you see that at the French Open; you see that at all these big tournaments. Obviously, there are some star players that will draw the fans and, you know, the television is gonna want them to play at the prime time, where they want to televise them.
And so, when you go through the schedule, you know, you look at the, what are the so-called feature matches, and then you schedule accordingly. And you hope that, you know, that's what's gonna happen.
So as Raymond pointed out, weather and the fact that they played the last match, people have been sitting out there. And, you know, I wish I could lock the gates and not let anybody else out, but I don't know how we can do that, so...
Q. In the women's, it would seem one of your biggest challenges, as you attempt to become as big as you want to be, would be dealing with the whole road map/combined issue. What is your thinking on that currently? Do you feel it critical for you to be one of the four combineds?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, you know, what we've had over the last two months, we have had very positive meetings with Larry Scott and the WTA. That was not the case in years gone by. But there seems to have been a total change of mind-set at the WTA, which we really welcome. And I'm the one that had the meetings with Larry Scott. When Charlie was in Australia, I met Larry Scott on his way back, and we've had two meetings this week. And we embrace the road map. We think what he's doing is correct. We've addressed all our concerns with him, which are both financial and delivery of field. And we are very hopeful and positive that starting in 2009, the women are gonna step up and do exactly the same for this tournament that the men do.
So we're hoping it's going to be a required play for the women. We think the financial conditions are going to be the same, and should all of those things take place, we will offer equal prize money.
So we're very hopeful that in 2009, there will be a different women's field and emphasis here.
Q. Raymond, on that point, wasn't it last year that the WTA issued the ruling that five tournaments would have mandatory entry for grand slams, which is surprising anyway that it should be the case, and that Miami was the fifth one? I thought that this tournament was supposed to be coming under that ruling in 2008.
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, you know, the road map that Larry Scott has designed with his board and the brave new world that Etienne de Villiers has designed with Charlie and the board, these are works in progress and they're changing. I mean, there's a big change in the ATP today than there was two months ago, and they're constantly tinkering and bettering the system.
When they said that the fifth tournament was a required play with Miami, we were, at the same time, announcing this to be the sixth. And it's just not possible to do it for 2008 from the WTA's point of view. And from 2009, we will be able to do it. 2008 is a difficult year for tournaments --
CHARLIE PASARELL: Olympics.
RAYMOND MOORE: -- because of the Olympics. And there are going to be some quirks in the schedule in the summer, you know, to fix the summer tournaments.
CHARLIE PASARELL: The same thing happened with the ATP. I mean, Etienne, as you know, when he first came out, he wanted to get everything done by 2008. As Raymond said, when you start, then you throw in the complications of the Olympics, everyone says, "Oops. Maybe 2009 makes a bit more sense, to try to really get everything going.
But it's not a question of doing it. It's a question of when it's going to happen. And as Raymond pointed out, I think 2009 is -- we hope we can get all the pieces together and get it done.
Q. So what is the penalty then for those who don't show in 2009?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, right now, what the WTA have planned is that any player that misses -- you know, they've got this designation A-12, A-9, A-7. So once a player is an A-12, means that it's a required to play. So right now, they only have two: it's Miami and ourselves. And then they've got some A-9's and some A-7's. And again, that's kind of changing.
But the penalty, I'm told, that the WTA will have is that any players that miss this tournament are not allowed -- they will be suspended for the next one. So if a player misses Indian Wells, they'll be suspended from Miami.
Q. How does Miami take that?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, it's -- you know, the same happens to us. And Charlie actually said this at the ATP board, we will pay the price for the last tournament of the year, which is Paris on the men's side. So if some male players miss Paris, they're gonna be suspended for our tournament, and we're all in this together, all the tournaments.
CHARLIE PASARELL: The question was asked of me at the board. You know, they said, "How would you feel if Federer and Nadal and Roddick don't play Paris? All of a sudden they're suspended from Indian Wells because they missed one tournament because they have to."
I said, "I'm not gonna be very happy about it," but, I said, "You know what, guys, somewhere down the line, you've got to have a system that works and I'll live with it."
I said, "You've got to get this done, and I know it will hurt, but you've got to get it done. You've got to get the system right."
Q. Roddick was saying the other day on that point, he says where's the sense in this if they're trying to get us to play all these and if we don't they're going to suspend us and the public is not going to see us?
RAYMOND MOORE: There have to be repercussions. We have been asked on the other side of the table to make a huge financial commitment in 2009. Our prize money here this year is approximately $5.6 million, and in 2009 it's going to be between --
CHARLIE PASARELL: 8 and 9.
RAYMOND MOORE: $8 and $9 million. I mean, that is a massive increase. It will be reflected in your buffet (laughing).
Q. The buffet goes down, does it?
CHARLIE PASARELL: So when you see how we have to cut costs in 2009 to pay the players, you'll understand.
Q. There goes the orange juice.
CHARLIE PASARELL: There goes the orange juice (laughing).
But, you know, we've been asked to make a huge financial commitment, which we have agreed to do. And in return, we're asking the players to play a tournament. We're the fifth and sixth largest tournaments in the world, us and Miami, and I don't think that's an onerous thing to do.
Q. Speaking of 2009, the ATP is suggesting there's only going to be eight Masters tournaments that year?
RAYMOND MOORE: Charlie will talk to it.
Q. Will this be one?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Again, this is all work in progress, okay. So, you know, we keep reminding everybody, you know, that this is a work in progress. But the current feeling, and the board feels, at least at this time, the board is pretty unanimous, is that it's eight out of eight. And your question was?
Q. Well, Shanghai is coming in.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Right.
Q. There's nine right now, so there's two that --
CHARLIE PASARELL: That means that you probably have to deal with downgrading two of the existing events and then to add Shanghai to the mix Pam add. That's what the current plan is. It's still a work in progress. There are a lot of complications with it.
Q. The rumor is that Monte Carlo will be one of the downgraded ones.
CHARLIE PASARELL: There's an application process. Rather than confirm any rumors, we'll find out.
Q. You mentioned about the level of commitment that you're going to make in 2009. That is a huge increase.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Right.
Q. Where's the money coming from, because does tennis pay its way in such an extent it can afford to give the prize money? How do tournaments manage to leap?
RAYMOND MOORE: I mean, certainly from our perspective, we're negotiating heavily behind the scenes to keep the commitment at $8 million and not 9. An extra million dollars is huge for us, so we're hoping that the ATP and the WTA will agree at that level. And so that requires a big increase from where we are now, 5.6 to 8.
But a lot of that will come -- the difference will come from two things for us: one is the WTA financial commitment, because right now they make the financial commitment they make to us is about a third of what the ATP do. So if they close that gap, that's going to help us bridge that gap.
And the other is that, you know, we'll be in new negotiations with title sponsors, with Pacific life and with possibly others if Pacific life do not want to renew, and the price of poker is going to unfortunately go up.
CHARLIE PASARELL: And finally, which we're actually -- which is good news, is that we are seeing some indications now that the increase on television coverage and television revenues internationally, you know, the numbers are looking very, very good. And so because -- you know, I think what Etienne, when he began with our board, and he said this to everybody and this is the message that he keeps harboring on the board, and I'm sure Larry's also saying, he says, you know, at the end of the day, he says, this is not what the players want, and this is not even what the tournaments want. This is about what the public wants, what the fans want.
He says, as long as you keep that in the back of your mind, let's try to figure it out. They've done qualitative and quantitative research. We try to extract a lot of that and try to really figure out, you know, what is best. So you're dealing with what we already know and what the public knows and trying to put those pieces together. It's not an easy task, but we've got to keep that in mind.
And so one of the things is, you know, when you go to the public and, I guess, maybe a good voice is you go to the broadcasters, they're saying, "What would you like to see? What would you like to cover? How many do you want? Is eight tournaments sufficient?"
No, we want more tournaments, i.e., let's create a second level of tournaments where players play and we need more content, you know. And so we're trying to address all these things.
Television in the U.S. is a different situation, but ultimately it's really -- the principles are still the same. We've got to tell a better story. The public has to follow tennis as a season better and we've got to tell a better story. We understand all those things. So we've got an awful lot of work to do and we're by no means -- we're really just trying to begin how to develop all these things.
So that's really always the main thought of what we're trying to do here. And so it's players are going to have to make some sacrifices, and, yes, there will be some sacrifices and some pains suffered by some tournaments, and we're trying to do the best we can, you know. That's pretty much it.
Q. You mentioned about the next tournament down is the one that could suffer if the previous tournament doesn't meet its commitment. As things stand, the Bercy lineup in the last four, five years, has probably been the weakest that it's ever been, because players who have already qualified for Shanghai don't want to put their -- risk their -- injure their health by playing Bercy. You know, people like Cedric in France are pulling their hair out with the playing field.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Absolutely.
Q. So it's important that you all do stick to this principle.
RAYMOND MOORE: No, it is. But the system's changing. And Bercy, now the players have agreed or embraced that they have to play eight of eight. And there are severe penalties, one is a suspension and two is ranking.
CHARLIE PASARELL: And I remind you I say none of that has been absolutely passed, okay. But that's the current discussions and thoughts about it, and so...
RAYMOND MOORE: But Bercy also is going -- their tournament is going to improve where they're going to go to eight days, and by having only eight tournaments instead of nine, it reduces -- it eases the players' schedules up for the players. We're hoping all these things combined will -- as Charlie said, we're just trying to make the sport bigger. That's all. And it requires cooperation from the players, because really, they are the --
CHARLIE PASARELL: The ones that benefit the most.
RAYMOND MOORE: They're the product, you know. If we can get them all playing, you know, at our tournament here. We have benefited unbelievably from the men's support, the ATP support. You know, when we have every single player in the top 50 entered in our tournament as this year, with one guy, I think Ancic, who is injured.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Mononucleosis, I guess he had.
RAYMOND MOORE: And, I mean, that speaks -- and the success with the people coming in, the public will respond. And now finally the WTA are coming to the party, as well.
Q. On the WTA, it would seem fairly logical that given the drive for equal prize money, the idea that the women's tour is almost a parody, is, in fact, a parody with the men, why wouldn't the tours have a mirror image of each other: eight, nine on the men's side; eight, nine on the women's, preferably the same ones, preferably all the combineds, et cetera. How do you feel about that, as simply observers, as politics of the game?
CHARLIE PASARELL: There's a lot of strong feeling about that. In fact, at the last meeting that we had with Larry, as Raymond has been pointing out, he -- I haven't attended all the meetings. Raymond's really been spearheading from our side the negotiations with Larry. But Larry said in the last meeting, we have to do this.
And I can tell you, from the ATP side, they also believe the same. I mean, we've got to get this game to be better understood by the public. We can't have two different ranking systems. You know, we want to try to match as much as we can. Everything from how do we brand this event, how do we do all this stuff, all of that. It's all really out there for conversation.
And television is an issue, you know. Fortunately we have to live with -- for a while, we have to live with different contractual obligations that are out there on TV, but it would be better if we had a common network broadcasting the event rather than Eurosport on the WTA side and the ATP package, which is another. So all these issues, we need to start addressing. And it's gonna take a few years, but we've got to start somewhere.
As Raymond said, earlier it's a work in progress. And everybody's trying to -- the ultimate goal is everybody is trying to get there. And, you know, on the Bercy situation, one of the things that we're trying to do, and you obviously have heard, is we're trying to, you know, if Shanghai is successful in -- or China is successful in getting a Master's/combined event, you know, we would then move the Master's Cup at the end of the year to Europe somewhere, possibly London, possibly Paris, you know. We don't know where.
And we believe that then those, the Paris Bercy, or whatever tournament that's in there at the of the year would benefit greatly because it's close to home. You know, it's difficult for the guys to play in Paris Bercy once they've to qualified. Then to figure out two weeks later, I've got to be playing in Shanghai. You know, they're gonna say why. We might as well take that extra week, I'm already there. So those kinds of things that we're looking at.
RAYMOND MOORE: And to your point, Peter, if you look at what's proposed, I mean, right now you have four grand slams where the men and women play together. Both tours have embraced the concept of four double-up combined events. Now suddenly, you've got eight. And if they do the finals at the end of the year as a combined - I say if, again it's just being discussed - now you've got nine. Who knows? Down the road maybe both associations will combine.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They're actually talking about actually five combined events, you know, possibly, in addition. So we are interested in growing the game. And everybody, I think a lot of you understand, all the difficulties in calendars and all that stuff. I mean, if it was easy, I think we would have done this a long time ago.
Q. Is having a tour sponsor, who obviously is going to have a stake where tournaments are, has going to have a vital interest in getting its investment back, is that a good idea? An overall tour sponsor, Sony Erickson for the women, you don't have one for the men, per se?
RAYMOND MOORE: Right.
Q. There's got to be some impact upon all of this from having a tour sponsor, a player of that magnitude?
RAYMOND MOORE: Sure.
Q. What would be the construction of the game that's supposed to be --
RAYMOND MOORE: Sure. I think the stuff that's happened with Sony Erickson has been very positive. They've had a very positive experience in tennis, confirmed by the fact that they went and they bought out Nasdaq and became the title sponsor of one tournament, and they're talking now about, Sony Erickson are, about possibly doing others.
And so there you have a major corporation that's had a very positive experience in the sport of tennis, which is good for everybody, absolutely good for everybody. And, well, the ATP do have kind of a tour sponsor in Mercedes Benz. It's not the same level as Sony Erickson, but Mercedes is the car category. They both have their agreements with different companies.
Q. Charlie, a moment ago you were saying about growing the game and making it bigger and bigger. And this -- while this wouldn't affect this tournament directly, but on the bigger picture, you have a situation like in Sidney, where you've got an exhibition an hour away by plane, people are confused when you've got huge names playing an exhibition in Melbourne where you have an official tournament going on in Sidney. And those are the sort of things that are totally disrupting this sport. I mean, obviously there's business going on, it's competition or whatever, and that's healthy to an extent. But what do you do? Do you put a ban on players from playing an exhibition that is directly played in the same week as an official tournament? What do you do? Because we have that problem now. So how -- I mean -- you'd be feeling the same way, I guess, if an eight-man exhibition happened in San Francisco or Los Angeles or San Jose or whatever?
CHARLIE PASARELL: You're absolutely right. I mean, I can't argue with your premise. And, you know, there are some issues that we have to deal with and really are legal issues as to how much can you say, you can't play anything but ATP or WTA tour events, and you freeze anybody else out of the game.
But you're absolutely correct. I mean, I know exactly where you're talking and I know the tours are concerned about it. And it does affect the Sidney event, which should be a big event because it's a big event lead-up to the Australian Open. And we do spend some time looking into that and we're trying to figure out, how do you get a better organized tour that, you know, these kinds of things don't happen, you know.
And if you've got a solution, I mean, banning the players from playing anywhere else, that would certainly take care of it. How we do that and not get challenged legally about it, that's the next question.
Q. On a more somewhat frivolous note, you were talking about TV and the tours. I notice this week, ESPN uses their Shot Spot computer-generated call-in system. The tour uses Hawkeye. Behind the scenes, do you ever compare the results to see how the two computer systems judge the same ball?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think it's the same isn't it? We use the same cameras.
Q. But Shot Spot is an ESPN product. Isn't it separate from Hawkeye?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think it's a different name for the same thing. That's my understanding. I may be wrong, but I don't think it's two different systems.
Q. I thought they were competing systems?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think it's competing names of the same system, okay, I believe, you know. And you may want to ask that question to the technical people, but I think we're using the same. I know we only got, you know, those two cameras, and whatever it is, eight cameras that go around there, if you guys haven't noticed it, you look for little white cameras. They're up in the corners of the suites. But I think it's the same system. ESPN calls it Shot Spot, the rest of the world calls them Hawkeye.
MATT VAN TUINEN: I think there may be some licensing involved with the name and how they use it. On ESPN, there's only one setup. I can tell you there's only one bank of computers and that's the Hawkeye.
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think that's your answer.
Q. Speaking of what's good for everybody, in your events, you have a 96-player fields. You see 32 players, you give them all byes, which seems to me doesn't leave a whole lot for people who buy tickets for those opening rounds on. I get the feeling that it's similar to qualifying. I'd like to see you at least make them play if you're gonna give them all those buys.
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, I think that -- I understand your question.
RAYMOND MOORE: But the facts don't support you, because our biggest days are those days you're talking about in attendance.
Q. People are buying tickets?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Well, we can show you the attendance records.
RAYMOND MOORE: Two of the three days we sold out in this week were those rounds, Saturday and Sunday. And Friday --
CHARLIE PASARELL: But he's talking about the Wednesday, Thursday.
Q. I'm not talking about the beginning of the event.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Right.
RAYMOND MOORE: No, you're --
Q. The players that have recognizable names are not playing.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Well, Jerry, the question is, they are. If you want to say the way to do that is to have 128-draw, then we can start those matches earlier. That's the answer. At the moment, you know, neither tour feels that, you know, that that's an answer. But we can show you the attendance on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and it ain't bad. I mean, you know, you're already -- it's over 10,000 people. I don't have the exact numbers on me, but it ain't bad. And it's a great way to start getting -- you know, really warming up for the event.
In fact, even through the qualifying, a lot of you guys on the Monday and Tuesday, qualifying and practice sessions, you know, which we do not charge admission, because we want the public, just the local public, we're getting -- we don't know how many people we're getting, but we're getting some pretty damn good crowds of people walking in. And we want to continue that.
Our idea is just to keep growing it, growing the attendance. And so for those folks who don't want to spend a lot of money, can't afford to spend a lot of money, we give them that Monday, Tuesday, they can walk out.
RAYMOND MOORE: On those days, Monday and Tuesday that he's talking, about they're free days, it's qualifying, and it's ladies' qualifying on Monday and Tuesday. We had between 5 and 10,000 people each day, Monday and Tuesday, free for ladies qualifying. And then it steps up. It goes into double figures over 10,000 people on Wednesday and Thursday, which is first round of the ladies. And then Friday, were in the first round of the men's and second round of the ladies, now we jump into the 16, 20,000.
People come out. They love it. I mean, you can ask all our vendors, and they'll tell you what happened on Monday and Tuesday when it was free. And they had big days, selling hot dogs, hamburgers, Cokes, whatever, T-shirts. They had big days.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They're big buildups. I wish we were like Wimbledon at the moment where it sells out from day 1. That's our goal. And by the way, we'll never have a sell-out. I may be a fool, but we'll never have a sell-out. Think about that for a moment.
Q. What's the commitment for Mercedes as far as the ATP is concerned? How long of a contract are they and what are they actually?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I'm sorry.
Q. Mercedes contract.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They're through 2008. You know, they're obviously lots of discussions going on. We absolutely hope and wish that they continue, you know. And I think -- I'm optimistic. I think the ATP is optimistic. They've been a phenomenal sponsor. They introduced that net, the logo at the net. You can see how many other people are trying to adapt to that. And it's been -- it's a classy way of really getting corporate exposure for Mercedes. I know they love it.
So if they choose not to do it, I don't think it has anything to do with what tennis has done for them, you know. I think there are other reasons than maybe not to do it.
Q. For '07 and '08 committed?
CHARLIE PASARELL: This year and next year, yes.
Q. You said you never had a sellout. Yesterday you had a capacity of 16,100 in the stadium; is that right?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes.
Q. You sold 16787. Is that what you're talking about?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yeah, but when you analyze that, we have a lot of other people over here that that's attendance. In terms of -- Dee Dee, what was your ticket sale last year, 'cause she's the one that really counts them, actual tickets sold, because our capacity is 16,100, and we had about 16,800, something like that.
DEE DEE FELICH: Yesterday?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes.
DEE DEE FELICH: 167.
CHARLIE PASARELL: 167, so Bill's question is.
Q. Where do you put those 600 people? They walk around the stadium?
DEE DEE FELICH: They're extra credentials that get issued. They go into the suites. They get suite access. They might not necessarily have a seat, but in a suite, standing room only.
CHARLIE PASARELL: For example, we've got about 150 seats in the players area. Those are not sold tickets, you know, and that kind of stuff.
Q. Have you got grounds passes?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes.
RAYMOND MOORE: Yes.
Q. I had a chance to speak to some journalist from Latin America, this part of the world produces many athletes in this sport, many players in this sport. They don't have even one Master tournament in Latin America. Do you think there's a chance in the future that they will have one?
CHARLIE PASARELL: You know, first of all, we, in this plan that we're talking for 2009, no, it's not being contemplated to do that. But it's certainly an area that we believe ultimately needs to be explored. We need to really try to bring a big event. Latin America, we are, I think, in the plan we contemplate, putting one of the 500, which would be the next level, in Latin America. And, you know, we're, in a sense asking. There are really four tournaments, if you include Mexico as part of the Latin America contingency, there are two events that would be applying for this 500 -- for one slot in the 500 category. That's the current plan.
But you're absolutely correct. Latin America is a very, very rich section of the world for tennis. Tennis is a big sport, as you know, in Latin America, second, third biggest sport in -- behind only soccer in all those countries, you know.
Q. Charlie, coming back to Jerry's question with the ten-day tournament, qualifying rounds, do you see any inconsistency with having a player like Andy Murray having to play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in a ten-day event? Half his matches have been in the last three days. Is there any plan to sort of spread the semis and quarters?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yeah, we constantly look at that. And again, you know, we -- the only way to do that is basically to say, okay, Friday or Saturday, no men's matches, like Miami does it. And we worry about that, we worry about, you know -- again, I don't mean to do this in a bad way, but, I mean, it is about the fans, and it is about, you know, people. And I think we do this differently than Miami. We spend a lot of time talking to Miami, but I think Super Saturday, like the U.S. Open, is a really, really good thing. It may not be the ideal situation for the players, but somewhere down the line, Andy Murray - and I know it was unfortunate, he played late Friday and then he has to come back and play Saturday, no question that that happened, and he got into an unbelievable match with Haas, and there's no question that it had an effect on him today - of course we worry about stuff like that.
And you can say that could have happened in the earlier rounds. I mean, he gets a break in the earlier rounds. So we always look at that. I'm not saying that, A, we're always going to do it that way. We will be reviewing all of the situations, but it's just the way it happens, you know. I mean, with all due respect to Wimbledon, I can remember playing long matches there and I look at the next schedule, I'm scheduled to play again. Good luck trying to get it changed, you know. I mean no way.
Q. Would you consider round-robins?
CHARLIE PASARELL: No.
RAYMOND MOORE: But ultimately what you have is the guys play the same amount of matches in the same amount of days. Andy Murray, if he got to the finals, had to play six matches in ten days. He gets a rest before. And what we would like is, on the men's side we would like to get an extra day, which would make a huge difference, because then you spread that out.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They get one more day.
RAYMOND MOORE: To a weekend that Jerry's talking about, and if you start them on Thursday instead of Friday, then you could -- then they really -- you get 11 days for six matches. Now they are having to play only one match every two days, so they get that day's rest.
I think one of the reasons Andre Agassi lasted so long was in the majors, because you have 14 days that they're playing, they were able to play, like, U.S. Open, they play him at night. He has a day's rest. He always gets two days before his next match, and that's good. That's good. And we would like to do that.
Q. I wasn't speaking in particular of just one player. Everybody in the quarters or semi.
RAYMOND MOORE: I'm talking about all the players, because some players have to play Thursday, but they would have had Wednesday off. So Andy Murray had had Thursday off. So, you know, he had that day. It was different. You know, it was very unfortunate what happened to him.
CHARLIE PASARELL: And you never know when a player is gonna get into one of these unbelievably lengthy matches. You've got a lot more flexibility in the earlier rounds because you have the extra days. But we look at that, you know, and we try to really schedule them as fairly as possible. I think, unfortunately, Andy and/or Tommy Haas would have been at a disadvantage coming back in the next day.
Correct me if I'm wrong. We agree. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Q. It's advertised as a 10- or 11-day tournament.
CHARLIE PASARELL: You know, Djokovic could have had the tough match and he -- you know, so it's --
RAYMOND MOORE: The U.S. Open, you know, they do the same, and they're playing three-out-of-five. They have the Super Saturday and the guy has to come back for the final the next day, Sunday. So what's more, you know, stressful in terms of --
Q. They do have the Friday off.
RAYMOND MOORE: They have the Friday off, but they're playing three-out-of-five.
CHARLIE PASARELL: They don't play any men's matches at the U.S. Open on Friday?
Q. Why do you think it is, this year, this tournament has suddenly bloomed?
RAYMOND MOORE: You know, I said it earlier, I think that all the travails we had, all these things that have kind of -- this controversy that's surrounded our tournament have all been put to bed. And the tournament is here for hopefully the next 100 years, certainly by contract the next 20. And I think that the general public have embraced this tournament finally, and that's what I've seen, personally. I think they finally realized this is a major, major tournament.
In fact, I've said, and I've asked some people to challenge, I think this is the biggest single-sport event in California. And I can not think of one that's close to us. Not a golf tournament, that's for sure. No one comes close to drawing the people we do or anything. So I can't find an event. I asked Mr. Dwyre if he could think of one, and he couldn't.
Q. Well, the Rose Bowl has been here for a great many years.
RAYMOND MOORE: But the Rose Bowl --
CHARLIE PASARELL: Single sport.
RAYMOND MOORE: I said single sport, not team sport.
CHARLIE PASARELL: One player.
Q. I got it.
RAYMOND MOORE: I said a single sport.
Q. Have you worked out what percentage of your attendance of the tournament are essentially, local commuters, one-day drive, people from L.A. or whatever, as opposed to people who come for a destination?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Based on all the surveys and studies that we've done, it's 20 percent of the people that come to this event are local, local residents.
Q. 20 percent?
CHARLIE PASARELL: 20 percent. 80 percent come from over 100 miles away, primarily Southern California. Though I've said this a thousand times, the balls are hit in Indian Wells. That's where the balls are hit. But this is not really an Indian Wells event. You know, this is a really a -- it's even beyond Southern California, southern California being our biggest market, but, you know, yesterday, somebody comes up to me and he says, "God," you know, "I've been coming for 16 years" - and everybody's got always a bit of advice - you know, "you've got to do this next year," which is wonderful, which is the best thing.
But every time somebody comes and we take those advice, and they said, you know, "We've been coming for 16 years and we're from Montana."
I said, "Montana, you come every year from Montana to go?"
He says, "Yeah."
Think about it. That's one couple that's been coming for 16 years. So we've got people coming pretty much all over the world, for that matter. And we can give you the specifics because we have -- most of our series ticketholders, we've got their ZIP code and where they're from and everything. It's really an incredible event.
If you call this a, you know -- this is an event that draws fans from basically all over the world, most of them from Southern California, but it's really an international event. I don't know too many other events.
RAYMOND MOORE: We get -- 3 percent of our crowd comes from Europe. So we've got all those statistics and we also have an economic impact report which really details all of that. It tracts the pattern of our spectators in that economic impact report which was done by the University of Washington --
CHARLIE PASARELL: George Washington University.
RAYMOND MOORE: -- D.C. They said the average spectator comes here for three to five days. They kind of -- it's a resort destination. People take their vacation. They come here to see the tennis, get the sunshine, play golf, shop, do all of that. And the annual economic impact on the valley here was --
CHARLIE PASARELL: 219 million.
RAYMOND MOORE: $219 million dollars, which is unbelievable.
CHARLIE PASARELL: In fact, just to compare here, locally, if you add up the four golf events, we have some big ones - we have the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, we have the one that's coming up the Kraft Nabisco LPGA, that's one of the four majors, if you add The Skins Games, you had the Samsung World Championship at the end of the year in October - those four combined don't match, don't add up to the same economic impact we have in tennis.
And they do a magnificent job. This is not to say that they don't. But this event has really become the biggest event of any sort for this valley in terms of economic impact and we're very proud of it. We're extremely proud.
Q. You guys have been through a lot and now you're able to focus again on the future. And the future has always been kind of built, image-wise to me and others, as this place is surrounded by some hotels, some shops, and some restaurants, and yet I still see sand.
CHARLIE PASARELL: And so do I. And I'm more anxious than you, Bill, to see something besides sand.
Q. That's in the future?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Absolutely.
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, the City of Indian Wells had a press release and the function which I attended for the media, and they announced that $2.1 billion of development is coming out of the ground, all surrounding us in the next three years. But the City of Indian Wells is also very well known to be stringent in their building conditions and approvals and permitting. And the land we sold to the developers, they, as I understand it, are almost ready to pull permits, but they're going through. There will be two hotels, there are going to be 12 movie cinemas next to us, six restaurant pads on the west side. So all of that is going through the permitting process with the City of Indian Wells. And it takes a while.
As I understand it, if you go to the City of Indian Wells, the general time span is somewhere like 18 months to two years to get all your approvals. They go through every single kind of supervision. And look at the city of Indian Wells, you can see the difference. When you drive through Indian Wells and you see the setbacks down the road and you see these meandering paths --
CHARLIE PASARELL: First class.
RAYMOND MOORE: They do a first class job, and they're trying to keep that city -- you don't see a neon sign in the City of Indian Wells because they don't allow it. So they've got certain standards and new developers have to conform to that.
CHARLIE PASARELL: But even beyond the City of Indian Wells, like you guys seen the hotel - we wish it would have been open for this year's tournament, I think they wished even more so than we did, that they would have been open for this year's tournament - that happens to be across the street from Washington Street and that actually is the City of La Quinta. So, you know, Washington Street is the borderline between Indian Wells and everything. So the City of La Quinta is going to benefit from this enormously.
So Indian Wells is where we are and it is the prominent city, but the whole valley, you know, all the other cities are going to benefit enormously from this.
RAYMOND MOORE: But we hope that development comes, you know, quicker, but the City of Indian Wells, not us -- I mean, they had a press release, a mayor's breakfast, they announced all these developments, because they're in charge of that. It's pretty exciting. I think three years from today, which is, you know, a short time, this will look very different.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We're excited about that.
RAYMOND MOORE: And Lawrence of Arabia won't be able to come.
Q. Talk about extension here for the tournament. What are the things you're looking at?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Well, I think we talked a little bit about, you know, the questions came vis-a-vis basically working closely with both the ATP and the WTA.
Q. I kind of meant more along the lines of the site.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Around the site?
Q. Like expanding?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We really are, as we speak, really have begun internally, how do we expand around it, how do we probably bring some more permanency to some of the structures that we have around here, instead of tents, having some permanent structures or some better structures, not that they're bad, but something. We're starting to look at all of that, and I wish I could, you know, show you a plan.
RAYMOND MOORE: I've got a model in my office, a big model that we've built, which shows. And, as Charlie says, we're in the due diligence process now. We've -- we want permanent buildings. We're looking at a permanent stadium, too, a permanent Stadium 2, permanent buildings where the food court is, permanent building where the retail tent is, and we have a model scale, model in my office which we've commissioned. And so we've taken the first step to do that.
Q. Too early to talk about a time line with that?
RAYMOND MOORE: It's too early. We've got to cost it out, as well.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We don't even know what this is going to cost and how we're going to do it. But, you know, I think as Raymond talked about it earlier, I mean, last year was just, boy, we've got to do everything to keep this event here. And actually the question was asked, what's made the difference in this year's tournament, I think last year we were just trying to -- let's get the tournament on, but let's try to make sure we can do all the work to keep the tournament here.
This year, once we've succeeded in doing that, we said, "Okay. Now we've got to really focus on building the event." You know, this is just about announcing a good player field, just getting out a couple of ads, and everything takes care of itself, they're fooling themselves. This is a lot of -- this is like no difference than running a major political campaign. You've got to really work hard at it. You've really got to have marketing plans and everything.
So now, ourselves along with our new partnerships, you know, George Mackin and Bob Miller, who are very experienced in this business, we have started launching some really major, you know, sort of advertising and marketing campaigns. And, you know, I think that's made a huge difference, because we really have turned our focus now about really building the event and we continue.
Now we're looking about expansion. What do we do next. It's just like riding a bicycle. You've got to keep pedaling. If you stop pedaling, it comes to a halt and you fall off. You've got to keep at it. It doesn't take care itself.
Q. Just on the point that Jerry was making earlier about those early days and the figures that you're provided, I think this was raised last year, would you not consider bringing in the old guys for those first few days like you used to do?
RAYMOND MOORE: Sure. No, we've talked about it. We've talked about it. We're still talking about it. We were talking about it last month. We were saying instead of making it a 10- or 12-day tournament, you make it two weeks.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Three weeks.
RAYMOND MOORE: And take the first three, four days and bring in Jim Courier and McEnroe and stuff and again. The problem we have is that comes with a price tag. And the price tag right now is pretty high to bring those guys in, and you've got to be able to justify it by being able to sell tickets.
CHARLIE PASARELL: One of the things that we've been doing now is we also want to create opportunities for young players, particularly young players from this area. So we ran a pre qualifying tournament. We had some really -- for a lot of local young players from Southern California. And then we ran a pre-prequalifying tournament to see who got a wildcard into the prequalifying tournament. We're talking about expanding that.
And so, you know, this is about building the game, you know, building the game. You know, as we speak, we're running a tri-level, meaning three different divisions of amateurs, and I think -- I don't know how many USTA
RAYMOND MOORE: Eight sections.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Eight sections of the USTA are sending teams out here. They're going on. We're talking about do we do pro/celebrity events. We want to make this thing like big a event, make it into an all-encompassing event. Bring in the seniors and the top seniors. As Raymond said, we'd love to do it. We then have to then look at the financial. It comes with a big price tag. Those guys don't come cheap. We've got to figure out, can we justify it, can we sell those guys. We look at that, but we want it.
RAYMOND MOORE: Eventually we're going to have 12 months of qualifying.
Q. Initially maybe instead of the big price tag of the over-35's, would there be merit in actually having an official ITF, ATP junior event?
RAYMOND MOORE: Craig, have you been tapping our boardroom? We're trying to do a national junior tournament here next year. We're already through the application process with the USTA, so we get it sanctioned and it will be a USTA junior tournament and so, yeah. In fact, you know, on our site, we already run a number of national events. We do the National 55's. We do a bunch of things year round.
CHARLIE PASARELL: About 15 events we run year round here.
RAYMOND MOORE: But we do want to run a big junior tournament. Again, what it is, it's like the grand slams, when you come to the end of the second week and most of the matches are on the stadium court and you've got all these other courts out there, you want to have some interesting tennis out there, and there are a lot of people who want to see that.
Q. You do that in reverse though. Would you like the injuries in the early part when they're still playing quallies over here and the first couple rounds going --
RAYMOND MOORE: It's a possibility and we're looking at all those things, we are.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We're looking at having some events before the tournament starts and bringing them back and maybe having to play at the end of the tournament, you know, all these things, you know. But I think next year you will see -- I mean, as we said, we want to have three weekends now, you know, by starting to plug in a lot of local events and junior events and prequalifying and pre-prequalifyings.
I'll tell you, to me, watching those events, it's almost even more fun. You know, just to see who tomorrow's future are gonna be, future great stars are. It's really fun.
Q. You're both players. I think your picks for the final, no waffling, if this happens and that happens, who's gonna win today?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think you have to say, you know, Nadal's got the edge, but you know what, after Federer lost, somebody asked me, he says, "Okay, who do you see is gonna get through to the finals?" And I looked and I looked hard and I said, "Djokovic." I actually picked him to get to the finals. So you never know.
And then as I said, you know, everybody said, "Oh, God. I mean when are you ready to jump off the building? You lost Federer. You lost Sharapova. You lost Hingis, and, you know, Hewitt."
And I said, "You know what," I said -- thought about it and I said, "You know, I thought a better alternative than to jump off the building maybe we would consider doing scheduled exhibitions."
I don't think so. I think we'll keep with the tournament format. So, you know, how many times and how many times I've said this, you know, many, many. You go back a few years, in the '90s, we had a finalist that everybody said, "Who is this Jim? Jim who?"
Jim Courier, and I said, "Who is this kid? Who is this guy? He's a damn good player."
And, you know, a few months later, he wins the French Open. By the end of the year, he was the No. 1 player in the world. So who knows, maybe you can say the same thing about Djokovic. You never know.
So that's -- I think I am very impressed with the way that Djokovic played, and I've been impressed about him, you know, for -- 'cause I watched him play in a few other matches. He's already in the top 10, you know. So not bad.
RAYMOND MOORE: I echo everything he says. I think Djokovic is definitely one of the future superstars, for sure. But if I was to bet, I would bet on Nadal today, although I did take the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Q. When you talk about a junior's tournament, are you talking about an existing one or brand-new tournament?
RAYMOND MOORE: No, we're a applying to the USTA for a sanctioned USTA points-counting junior tournament. So it's a new one. It's not an existing one.
Q. But with Easter Bowl just a couple of weeks apart, isn't that going to be difficult? Maybe you can get it, but you won't get -- I mean there's going to be competing publicity.
RAYMOND MOORE: Sure. But you've got to go through the process. We can't just come in and say, all right, we're here, we want the biggest tournament.
We understand the process, and it's starting, you know, from scratch. And that's what we're gonna do. We want to build it. It's like Charlie said earlier, we want to make this, everything here, you know, great, and make it the best. And we'll stand in line and we'll start with the smaller tournament. You know, they award these star categories to whatever it is, and we'll start at the bottom and we'll build it up.
Q. Would you consider acquiring the Easter Bowl, just moving it a couple weeks earlier?
RAYMOND MOORE: The Easter bowl is a different thing. That's an established event. It's been around forever and it's really not --
CHARLIE PASARELL: It runs at Easter.
Q. You can't very well call it Easter Bowl this week, right?
RAYMOND MOORE: Easter Bowl in March.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Unless we go to Easter.
Q. Well, if the prequalifying starts early enough.
Charlie, is there any discussion of where the Shanghai tournament would fit in the calendar if they get a Super 9?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Well, I only see one place and that has to be post-U.S. Open, and I don't see fitting anywhere else. I mean, if you really look at how the calendar follows, you know, I don't think they would do it pre-Australian Open. That's, first of all, too early in the season, not enough weeks, pre-Australian Open. Post-U.S. -- post-Australian Open, again you look at the calendar and it would be difficult to, you know, to put it in there. And weather-wise, I think for Shanghai, in the summer. In the spring, Europe; summer some Europe, mostly United States, you know. And so there's only one time you can do it, in the post-U.S. Open.
Q. Just on the issue of sponsored titles, you touched on really towards the beginning, let's say Pacific Life decides, yes, they want to stay in, but they're not prepared to go up another 2 million or $1 million. They're prepared to stay at this level and you're bringing in other sponsors to fill that gap, would you prefer to see one title sponsor or would you be happy to have a few sponsors and this becomes the Indian Wells Open or something like that? It doesn't matter?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Purely an economic issue?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I mean, I think the -- I don't know, Raymond, but the -- we just don't see how the latter approach is going to make it. And so -- and we want to -- I mean, Pacific Life has been unbelievable. We're in discussions with them. We want to continue discussing it with them. You know, we want companies to be associated with our sport and with events. It's great. They support us tremendously. They do a lot of wonderful things and we want to work with them. You know, we want to work with Pacific Life or whomever we --
RAYMOND MOORE: See, what you suggested is the old --
RAYMOND MOORE: -- old concept that ISL had. And you don't entitle one event, you have a whole bunch of sponsors, which is what the Olympics do.
RAYMOND MOORE: And we found that once you go into the marketplace, that doesn't work and that you want to brand an event. And for a company to pay that kind of price tag, they need to have their name up in lights as the main sponsor. So whether it's Pacific Life or anyone else, I think that's what they require.
Q. Is Pacific Life okay for '08?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes -- no, no, no.
Q. This is the last year?
CHARLIE PASARELL: This is the last year of our current contract with Pacific Life. They've got a 30-day exclusive negotiating period at the end of this tournament, which we'll enter into next week with them, and see where they are. See what they want to do. They've been a phenomenal sponsor, terrific, great company.
Q. Speaking as a Brit, can I thank you for arranging daylight savings to be moved an hour. The deadline time, tell you what, seven hours is such a benefit from eight, it's wonderful. Can you do that for the next 20 years, as well?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think it's obviously beyond our control, but that's --
Q. Very useful.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yeah, I can see it makes a big difference there.
MATT VAN TUINEN: Thank you everybody.
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