CARLSBAD — After a two-year hiatus, the La Costa Resort and Spa will be welcoming another professional tennis tournament to their facilities in 2010.
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will run from July 31 to Aug. 8 and will be held at the resort’s tennis courts. More than 80,000 people are expected to attend the event, one of 10 tournaments comprising the Olympus U.S. Open Series.
La Costa Resort has been searching for an opportunity to host another professional tennis tournament since it last hosted the Acura Women’s Tennis Classic two years ago. Despite the resort’s history of hosting successful tournaments, many stops return to where they were last hosted, said April Shute, vice president and general manager of La Costa Resort and Spa.
“When this opportunity presented itself, we were very excited,” said Shute.
The tournament will feature top players playing in 13 exciting sessions at the resort’s state-of-the-art tennis facilities. Two sessions will be hosted per day throughout the tournament and more than 5,000 people are expected to attend each sold-out event, Raquel Giscafre, tournament director, said.
“The tournament has been a popular stop on the tour, it attracts people from all over, not just California,” Giscafre said.
The community of Carlsbad is projected to benefit greatly when the tour comes in to town. Based on numbers provided by past cities who have hosted the event, the Sony Ericsson WTA stop is estimated to bring in approximately $30 million in the eight-day period, Giscafre said.
“It’s a high-end demographic, they want to go to a place where they can get a nice meal and watch tennis,” Giscafre said.
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour was last hosted in Los Angeles before deciding to return to the San Diego area. Although Los Angeles is a big city, the event was hosted in a large stadium and didn’t receive the kind of success that a tournament of its caliber should, Giscafre said.
“That tells you how important it is to have an intimate setting that La Costa provides for a tournament,” Giscafre said.
Shute is expecting the resort to sell out, as it has in the past when hosting tournaments. La Costa will be an all-inclusive destination for out-of-town visitors who attend the tournament because it features restaurants, guestrooms, and spas, Shute said.
“La Costa Resort and all of San Diego have, through the history of the tournament, made this stop on the women’s tour very successful,” said Giscafre.
Shute said that ticket holders have already been contacting the resort to confirm their tickets and rooms for the upcoming event. Despite tough economic times, Giscafre believes that “people are really excited to watch tennis” again.