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Connecticut May Buy Yale-Backed Tennis Tournament, Malloy Says

By Eben Novy-Williams and Annie Linskey

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Connecticut is considering buying the rights to the New Haven Open, a women’s tennis tournament hosted by Yale University that the governor’s office says generates $26 million for the local economy.

The state’s Capital Region Development Authority will vote next week on purchasing the rights to the event, Governor Dannel Malloy said today in a statement. Andrew Doba, a Malloy spokesman, said the state would pay $618,000 for the tournament, one of the WTA tour’s hard-court tuneups before the U.S. Open in New York.

“This tournament has created both economic and community development opportunities in the City of New Haven for 16 years,” said Malloy, a Democrat. “Economic development for our urban environments, and the state as a whole, is a fundamental component of the state’s agenda and we view the New Haven Open as another chapter in bolstering this effort.”

Without the purchase, the governor said, the tournament would probably leave Connecticut.

The sale was approved this week by the U.S. Tennis Association, which owns the tournament, according to the release. The program has also received commitments from all five of its main sponsors -- Aetna Inc., American Express Co., First Niagara Financial Group Inc., Yale, and Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The tournament has been held in New Haven for 16 years, and past winners include Venus Williams, Justine Henin, Steffi Graf and Caroline Wozniacki. It was also a stop on the men’s ATP Tour from 2005 to 2010.

The vote will take place on Oct. 17. The 2014 tournament is scheduled to be held from Aug. 15 to Aug. 23.

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