MDE Tennis and IMG, with the Support of Title Sponsors Mubadala and Citi, Bring Together the Historic D.C. ATP and San Jose WTA Tournaments to Solidify Washington as a Global Destination for Men's and Women's Professional Tennis
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- MDE Tennis and IMG announced today that the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. is combining with the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic to become the Mubadala Citi DC Open beginning in 2023. The move from San Jose elevates the DC women's event from a WTA 250 level to a WTA 500 level, making the Mubadala Citi DC Open the only combined ATP-WTA 500 tournament in the world on the tour calendar. The move is subject to ATP Board approval.
The Mubadala Citi DC Open is the fifth largest pro tennis event in the United States and will take place July 29 – August 6, 2023, at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park in the nation's capital. The tournament was founded in 1969 to support Arthur Ashe's vision of playing professional tennis in a public park, making tennis accessible to everyone. Since MDE Tennis took over management of the tournament in 2019 the event's popularity has exploded, with record attendance of over 80,000 and total sell-outs of every session for the last two years.
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic was founded 52 years ago by Billie Jean King as the first event of the 1971 professional women's tour that has now become the WTA. The tournament will make history once again when it moves to the nation's capital in August. The tournament will remain a 28-player field and presents a rare opportunity for a combined 500-level event the same week, allowing WTA players to compete in front of a larger audience with a more convenient tour schedule in proximity to the next major WTA events and then the U.S. Open in New York City later that month. Tennis fans, meanwhile, will be able to enjoy the highest levels of men's and women's professional tennis during the same week.
Mark Ein, the Chairman of MDE Sports and the Citi Open, met recently with Brian Lott, Chief Communications Officer for Mubadala Investment Company, and Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Citi, to launch the new co-title partnership and tournament.
"Since we took over the Citi Open in 2019, one of our top goals was to secure the long-term rights to host an equal level WTA 500 event in combination with our historic ATP 500 event that is beloved by our community and that has been a highlight of summers in Washington for 53 years. We are thrilled to now make that a reality and are deeply grateful to Mubadala, Citi and IMG for this unique and impactful partnership," said Mark Ein, Mubadala Citi DC Open's Chairman. "Being able to showcase men and women at the same highest-level events is one of the things that makes tennis so special, and this move solidifies the Mubadala Citi DC Open as one of the premiere professional tennis tournaments in the world."
"We'd like to thank the Bay area for over 50 years of support, enthusiasm and passion. We've loved bringing the best in women's tennis to your doorstep year after year," stated Josh Ripple, SVP of Tennis Events at IMG, the owner and operator of the WTA 500 event. "While we're sad to go, we are also very excited about this new chapter in the event's history as the only 500-level combined event on the tours in the U.S. We hope that by bringing this event to D.C. we can start new traditions and bring that same passion for women's tennis we saw in San Jose to the capital."
Brian Lott, Chief Communications Office for Mubadala Investment Company said, "Our relationship with women's professional tennis began in 2017, when we worked with the WTA to move this tournament from Stanford University to San Jose State University, attracting new fans in the Silicon Valley area and extending its timeline in Northern California by five years. We are excited to build on the heritage of these men's and women's tournaments to create something new and historic in Washington, D.C. This new format will serve both players and fans alike and will build on Mubadala's strong support of professional tennis – women's tennis in particular – worldwide. We also look forward to working with the local community to develop the next generation of tennis talent in the D.C. area."
In addition to the new tournament in D.C., Mubadala also recently hosted the first-ever Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open WTA 500, and the company recently acquired the Rio Open ATP 500 tournament.
"Welcoming Mubadala on as a co-title partner is an incredible opportunity to elevate the event and will enable men's and women's tennis to share the stage by becoming the only combined ATP-WTA 500 tournament," said Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Citi. "We have great respect for Mubadala and all they've done with the Silicon Valley Classic, and we look forward to bringing our shared passion for tennis to the D.C. community in an even more impactful way."
"We are thrilled to host the Mubadala Citi DC Open in the Sports Capital. We are also excited to make DC's biggest tennis event even bigger," said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. "For more than 50 years, the Citi Open has entertained and inspired Washingtonians from across all eight wards and tennis fans from around the world. And we look forward to many more years of world-class tennis in DC. We'll see you this summer in Rock Creek Park."
Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO said: "The Bay Area has played host to so many unforgettable moments as one of the Hologic WTA Tour's longest-running tournaments. The legacy of this much-loved event will live on in its new home, in Washington D.C., where I am excited to see WTA and ATP stars competing together for the first time at the 500 level, creating new memories for many more years to come."
Season tickets for the 2023 Mubadala Citi DC Open are already on sale at www.mubadalacitidcopen.com or by calling 202-721-9500. More than half of the lower bowl is already sold and every session for the last two years has sold out with season ticket holders now comprising a large portion of the attendees. Individual seats will be available closer to the event.
About Mubadala Citi DC Open: The Mubadala Citi DC Open tournament, played in Washington D.C., is one of the world's premier tennis events and benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF). The tournament was founded in 1969 by Donald Dell, John Harris and Arthur Ashe in its current location in Rock Creek Park with a vision of making pro tennis accessible for all athletes and fans in the Washington community. Beginning in 2019, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and DC native Mark Ein's organization, MDE Tennis, began managing and operating the tournament under an agreement with WTEF. The organization provides underserved children in the D.C. area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment. The Mubadala Citi DC Open tennis tournament is the only combined ATP and WTA 500 level event in the world on the tour calendar and one of only five combined ATP/WTA tour events in the United States. After 53 years, it is also the longest-running professional tennis event at the same site in the United States.
About MDE Tennis: MDE Tennis, which is part of MDE Sports & Entertainment, oversees operations for the Mubadala Citi DC Open. Mark D. Ein is the CEO of MDE Sports & Entertainment and MDE Tennis. Ein is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 30-year career. During this time, Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of six companies that have been worth over one billion dollars and has led over $10 billion of private equity, venture capital, and public company investments. Ein is the Founder and CEO of Capitol Investment Corporation, Venturehouse Group, LLC and Leland Investment Co. Ein is deeply dedicated to supporting his Washington area community with active leadership roles on many community, charitable and cultural organizations including currently serving on the boards of the DC Public Education Fund (Chairman), DC College Access Program (DC-CAP), and DC Policy Center (Co-Founder). He formerly served on the Board of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) from 2012-2018 (serving as a Vice President of the Board from 2016-2018) and has served as a Presidential Appointee to the USTA Board since 2018. Ein has been a member of the World Economic Forum since 2016, and the Gridiron Club, the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C. A native of the Washington, D.C., area and a ball boy in his youth at the city's summer pro tennis tournament that became the Citi Open, Ein was also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, the most successful team in World TeamTennis history. The Kastles won the league championship six of its 13 years in the league and holds the record for the longest winning streak in U.S. pro team sports history winning 34 straight matches from 2011 through 2013. In September 2009, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting his Washington Kastles success on the court and, "for their commitment to the District's communities and our youth." In September 2018, Ein founded the Washington Justice esports franchise in the Overwatch League, bringing the premier global esports league to the greater Washington, D.C. region. Also in 2018, Ein acquired the Washington City Paper, the renowned weekly paper serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1981.
About IMG: IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The company manages some of the world's greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.
About Mubadala: Mubadala Investment Company is a sovereign investor managing a global portfolio, aimed at generating sustainable financial returns for the Government of Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala's $276 billion (AED 1015 billion) portfolio spans six continents with interests in multiple sectors and asset classes. We leverage our deep sectoral expertise and long-standing partnerships to drive sustainable growth and profit, while supporting the continued diversification and global integration of the economy of the United Arab Emirates.
For more information about Mubadala Investment Company, please visit: www.mubadala.com
About Citi: Citi is a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in its home market of the United States. Citi does business in nearly 160 countries and jurisdictions, providing corporations, governments, investors, institutions and individuals with a broad range of financial products and services. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi
About WTEF: The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) is a premier educational and tennis organization for underserved children in Washington, D.C. The mission of WTEF is to improve the life prospects of low-income, underserved children and youth in the District of Columbia through athletic and academic enrichment. WTEF seeks to keep children off city streets during out-of-school time in a safe environment they can trust. We also engage them in productive activities that teach discipline, build confidence, improve school performance, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. WTEF empowers students to achieve their highest potential by helping them develop meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to make constructive life choices. WTEF builds life champions. For more information, visit wtef.org.
About the ATP: As a global governing body of men's professional tennis, the ATP's mission is to serve tennis. We entertain a billion global fans, showcase the world's greatest players at the most prestigious tournaments, and inspire the next generation of fans and players. From the ATP Cup in Australia, to Europe, the Americas and Asia, the stars of the game battle for titles and Pepperstone ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, and Grand Slams. All roads lead towards the Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious season finale held in Turin, Italy. Featuring only the world's top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams, the tournament also sees the official crowning of the year-end ATP World No. 1, presented by Pepperstone, the ultimate achievement in tennis. For more information, please visit www.ATPTour.com.
About the WTA: Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity, the WTA is the global leader in women's professional sports. The WTA is one of the world's most recognizable and high-profile sports organizations, consisting of more than 1600 players representing approximately 87 nations, all competing to earn WTA rankings points and prestigious tournament titles. The Hologic WTA Tour is annually comprised of around 50 events and four Grand Slams, spanning six continents and nearly 30 countries and regions with a global audience of over 900 million. Further information on the WTA can be found at wtatennis.com.
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