The USTA website tells us “there are plenty of great seats available” for this weekend’s Fed Cup tie in Worcester, Massachusetts between the United States and Belarus. There also happens to be plenty of great seats available to watch the Superbowl on a big screen TV this weekend, and the hometown New England Patriots are in it. The Patriots, who play 42 miles from the DCU Center in Foxboro, drew 25,000 fans at a send-off party for the team last week. The DCU Center has been retro-fitted for a capacity of 6,000 fans, which is far less than the venue can actually hold.
You can’t fault the USTA on this one. The dates were set by the ITF worldwide. And who among us even thought that the Pats had a chance to go to Superbowl XLVI? After all, they had to resort to cheating their way in over the Baltimore Ravens.
Organizers have already had to offer 60% off tickets on Groupon and belatedly/begrudgingly sell single day tickets to try to drum up interest. One lesson that should be learned from this is that you should always offer one day tickets from the start. It may be too little, too late.
Tennis fans can only hope that the newly crowned #1 Vika Azarenka will generate some marketing fire. But in sourcing the New England sports online media this week, it’s pretty obvious that the din of Superbowl Week is Indianapolis is drowning pre-tie marketing efforts. The only way this could have been worse is if the Red Sox were playing the Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
On the other hand, the USTA and Tennis Channel have always been receptive to filling a lower bowl to avoid embarrassment during televised matches. The matches should be entertaining and a large crowd would make the event a memorable one.
So, if you’re holding an upper deck, nosebleed seat for the USA-BLR tie this weekend, you might be in luck. It’s very likely that you’re getting a seat upgrade.
Hopefully, fans will determine that they can catch a weekend of international tennis and still get home in time to catch the kickoff. If they already knew what Serena Williams does, that the Giants are going to beat the Pats again, they might just soak in the tennis a little longer.
Let’s hope alot of New Englanders pencil in tennis for a jam-packed Super Sports weekend.