The 2018 Connecticut Open will serve up new sponsors, an inaugural beer festival, and solar panels.
That news emerged at a media kickoff day Tuesday to announce that tickets are on sale for the popular weeklong, annual tennis tourney that is coming up Aug. 17-25.
Anne Worcester, tournament director, delivered that news along with updates on the women tennis stars to watch out for this year. She said two-time Wimbledon champion and reigning eighth-ranked Petra Kvitova committed to the tournament some weeks ago. And 2017 Connecticut Open champ Daria “Dasha” Gavrilova will be back to defend her title. (Read about Gavrilova’s appearance at last year’s Women’s Day at the Connecticut Open here.)
“She especially loves New Haven because she’s a foodie and really, really loves our restaurants,” Worcester said of the Australian player.
Thirteenth-ranked Julia Goerges of Germany also will make her second visit to New Haven and the Connecticut Open, she said.
“We’re coming off the very exciting French Open for the women,” Worcester said. “It’s a fantastic time for women’s tennis. And the future is bright.” She said the strategy for the tournament has always been to wrap world class women’s tennis around a week of fun and exciting events and activity. As in previous year’s, this year’s tournament features a week of fun, off-court activity such as food trucks, live music every night, and a fit zone.
This year’s festivities also will include an inaugural beer fest on Aug. 25. The tennis stadium also is looking good thanks to continued investments from the state enabling it to operate year-round, hosting other athletic visiting teams for Yale University and meetings for other groups such as the city’s parks and recreation staff and an upcoming Chamber of Commerce of Greater New Haven morning mingle.
“We understand that Harvard football said it was the nicest locker room they’ve ever seen,” Worcester said, getting a chuckle from the crowd assembled for the kickoff.
The installation of solar panels on the southern tier of the stadium will allow it to generate 132,000-kilowatt hours a year of energy, which Wooster said is the equivalent of keeping 150 incandescent light bulbs lit all year. (Read more about the solar panels here.)
Michael Piscitelli of the city’s economic development department pointed out that whoever the next Connecticut Open champion is, she will be joining a long line of sports champions from this year. Yale University’s lacrosse team took home a national championship. So did the city’s soccer club, the Elm City Express. He also noted that the Hillhouse High boys and girls track teams are state champions too.
“I think we can trust that the Connecticut Open is going to send its champions to great success,” he said.
Piscitelli also said that the Connecticut Open is always an opportunity to showcase New Haven to those who have never been to the city, and those who have been but have never spent much time in New Haven.
“We’re very proud to be a focal point of women’s tennis,” he said.
This year’s tournament picked up two new partners, energy company Avangrid, and Connecticut Magazine, which is a publication of Hearst Connecticut Media Group. They join long-time “cornerstone sponsors” Yale-New Haven Health and Yale University and host sponsors the City of New Haven and the State of Connecticut.
Michael West, vice president for corporate communications at Avangrid said the company will host a power zone for attendees to recharge their bodies and their electronic devices. While Rich DePreta of Hearst Connecticut Media Group said the August edition of the Connecticut Magazine will be dedicated to the tournament and have bonus coverage.
Tickets for the tournament are available by clicking here, or by calling the box office at 1-855-464-8366. Tickets for the inaugural Beer Fest at the Connecticut Open are $40 and available by clicking here. That event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. and the ticket includes a general admission, mid-tier seating to the singles at 3 p.m. and the doubles at 12:30 p.m. finals.
For more information about the tournament including volunteer opportunities click here, or call 203-776-7331.