Mayor Herenton makes major sports announcement - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Mayor Herenton makes major sports announcement

It was Mayor Herenton's first major announcement since winning the election last week. A long time major Memphis sporting event aced a bid to become a world class competitor.

The Regions Morgan Keegan Tennis Championship has always attracted top talent in tennis, last year Andy Roddick and Venus Williams were on the court. But the celebrity status of the annual tournament will rise even higher next year.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced that Memphis is one of only 10 cities world wide to be awarded 500 status with the ATP tour. It's now considered on a premium tier of tournaments and guarantees

A stronger sponsor involvement and more exposure for Memphis in terms of broadcasting of the event. But what it really means for tennis fans is that it will bring bigger stars to Memphis to compete.

"Only 22 cities in the world would be asked to compete for a spot in a new premier tier of tennis tournaments, only two in the United States could win," says Willie Herenton.

City Councilman Myron Lowery adds, "This is another example of corporate leadership stepping up to the plate making something possible for citizens that we otherwise would not have."

The tournament will continue to benefit St. Jude Childrens Research Center and many of the top names in tennis wind up donating to St. Jude, these are some of the stars who visited patients while in town last year.

The tournament will still be held in early February and organizers say it isn't costing the city of Memphis taxpayers a dime, but it could benefit them in the long run with the top exposure this new ranking will bring to the city.


Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.

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