Why the Cincinnati Open is one of southwest Ohio’s most special events

This week the Cincinnati Open was in the news after an announcement of additional projects that will be included in the extensive, campus-wide renovation planned to improve fan and player experiences prior to the expanded 2025 tournament.

Officials said the entire campus will be elegantly reimagined, with modern stadium facades and extensive landscaping to create a park-like feel throughout the venue. New fan amenities, courts and player facilities will also be added to increase capacity for the tournament’s expansion.

Last year, there was a lot of talk about Beemok Capital possibly moving the Western & Southern Open pro tennis tournament in Mason to Charlotte.

However, it was later announced that the Western & Southern Open was staying in Mason, and not just for the short term. A deal was reached to keep the popular event in Mason for the next 25 years.

Among the improvements is a sleek, continuous facade that will wrap both Center Court and Grandstand Court in the heart of the new-look campus, officials said. To the north, a permanent fan plaza shaded by an expansive canopy will provide a gathering spot for spectators with additional landscaping to create more greenspace and modular opportunities for sponsors. To the south, a brand new, 2,000-seat sunken stadium will be added to the campus, making it the fourth largest of the venue’s five permanent stadiums.

A great match

Local tennis fans have a lot to look forward to.

The tournament showcases the best professional male and female athletes in the sport.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The tournament made a big splash with the announcement that the tournament was not leaving Cincinnati, releasing a video featuring tennis legend Novak Djokovic, who won the men’s singles championship in 2023, and rising star Coco Gauff, the 2023 women’s singles champion, that gave the region a huge lift.

“Your wonderful tournament is staying in Cincinnati,” Djokovic said, adding he hopes to win a fourth Rookwood Trophy in 2024.

Gauff said, “It’s going to be bigger and better forever.”

The tournament dates back to 1899 in Cincinnati and has been in Mason since 1974. It will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2024.

Why is this such a big deal?

There are a lot of reasons this is good news for fans as well as the region.

Each summer, the event draws 200,000 fans from all over the world. More than 1,200 volunteers from the community and the region help to put on the tournament.

Among the things tennis fans said they love about the Western & Southern Open are its history and tradition and the intimacy of the facility that brings fans and players closer together.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The tournament is one of the 15 most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, with other events at that level hosted in cities like Shanghai, Paris, Rome and Madrid, one step below the Grand Slam championships.

More than $260 million in upgrades will be invested at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where the event is held.

It’s still growing. In 2025, the tournament will expand from nine to 12 days and growing the single player draw from 56 to 96 players

In 2025, when the tournament expands, Warren County Commissioner David Young said the event will provide a $150 million economic impact for the region and bring an estimated 400,000 visitors.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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