With the tournament scheduled to begin on August 18, final preparations are being made for the 20th annual Connecticut Open in New Haven. And the tournament’s director believes they will have a lasting benefit for the U.S. Open tune-up event.
Anne Worcester has been in charge since the 1998 inaugural event in New Haven — then called the Pilot Pen. She convinced the state to step in as a backer in 2015 after Pilot Pen left. Since then, it’s put about $2.5 million dollars into the Connecticut Tennis Center. The final stage of the project’s three phases has just been completed.
“Lastly,” Worcester said, “physical improvements that make the building more multi-purpose year-round so that we can rent the building out for corporate events.”
Adding revenue streams like that, plus additional improvements like building administrative offices to keep everyone on-site and converting electric power to gas, save the tournament between $100,000 and $300,000 a year.
“Our whole goal,” Worcester said, “is to make everyone feel that they are not at a temporary facility, but they are at something that is year-round.”
The other phases were completed in the previous two years and included physical updates to the seats and lower bowl, along with retrofitting of the players’ center, locker rooms, and media area.