2006 Update: The ATP has moved this tennis tournament to Las Vegas. You can find more details about this event at the ATP web site.
Every year they come to the Valley of the Sun. It may not be Wimbledon or the U.S. Open, but the male professionals of the tennis world enjoy coming to Scottsdale, Arizona each winter to compete in a tennis event that is part of the ATP tour. In 2005, from February 21st through February 27th, the men will play in the Arizona Men's Tennis Classic. This year's field, competing for about $400,000, will include last year's champion Vince Spadea along with Mark Philippoussis, James Blake, Taylor Dent, and Tommy Haas, just to name a few. This event used to be known as the Franklin Templeton Tennis Classic.
The Arizona Men's Tennis Classic will be held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in North Scottsdale. The Stadium seats only 5,400 people, so all seats are good seats.
For ticket packages to either or both of these events, call (602) 514-8800. Individual tickets can be purchased by phone, online or in person through Ticketmaster.
Here are some tips about attending this event. These are my personal comments based on attendance at past events. Of course, this year may be different!
- The seats may all afford a good view, but that doesn't mean they are comfortable! In past years the chairs have been of the small plastic variety, and they are fixed together so that the maximum number of seats can be accommodated in the stadium. So bring a pad to sit on and be prepared to get cozy with your neighbor.
- Bring a hat, but please, make them the baseball cap variety. Don't wear those wide-rimmed hats--the person behind you can't see half the court!
- Be prepared to take a while to get into the parking area and quite a bit longer to get out. This is a make-shift dirt parking lot with only one way in and one way out. When the entire crowd is leaving, the pedestrians combined with many merging lanes into one makes it a very slow process.
- It can get very cool and breezy in the evening. Wear a couple of layers of clothing.
- No cameras, umbrellas or coolers are permitted.
Now that I have mentioned them, forget about these minor inconveniences. These are fantastic athletes and the weather is usually beautiful and sunny for these events. Bring your autograph pens and enjoy the best that tennis has to offer!