An ATP Tour tennis tournament is scheduled to return to Long Island in 2018 after an absence of 14 years.
The Memphis Open, a long standing indoor event, will move to Nassau Coliseum in February of 2018, it was announced on Monday by the partnership of GF Sports and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the operator of the newly renovated facility.
The new event currently is unnamed, but the Memphis Open is one of the longest standing tournaments on the ATP Tour and was established in 1976. It is the only ATP indoor tournament contested in the United States and has had a draw of 28 players. It is the smallest of ATP events, designated as a “250” event by the tour.
“There won’t be another 250 that will be quite as spectacular as the one we are doing. We have great plans,” said Gary Fuhrman, managing partner of GF Capital and board member of GF Sports. “We have already planned out how we are going to position the courts. Per ATP rules, you have two competition courts and the Nassau Coliseum in large enough to accommodate that. There will be some seating on the floor of the Coliseum for a real intimate setting. I’ve been monitoring the renovation and they have done a phenomenal job. There are great amenities for the players and the fans.”
From 1981 to 2004 the Holiday Organization of Long Island was the primary sponsor of a men’s event know familiarly as The Hamlet at the company’s Hamlet housing developments at first in Jericho then in Commack where it became an official tour event the week before the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows. Among its champions were Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and Stefan Edberg. That event ended after the 2004 tournament.
This will be the first sanctioned tennis tournament ever at Nassau Coliseum with a schedule running Feb. 10-18. Fuhrman says his company and Brooklyn Sports is committed to a long-term event.
“We aren’t disclosing terms, but this is a very long-term arrangement,” said Fuhrman. “From our perspective, this isn’t the Coliseum giving us space for a week. This was negotiated with top management there and the pre-condition was they were going to be highly supportive and it was going to be long term. We see it as being at the Coliseum for decades and that’s the way they look at it.”