Museum, mezzanine new for '99

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ticket office
Enlarged photos of top players adorn the new ticket office at the ATP Tennis Center in Mason.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        History will be on display this year amid several noticeable changes at the ATP Tennis Center in Mason.

        The centerpiece of the improvements is a museum, housed in the old ticket office, highlighting the 100-year history of tournament tennis in Cincinnati. Fans walking up to the main entrance will be greeted by an 8-foot by 12-foot photo from the 1900 Tri-State Tennis Tournament.

        A video history of the tournament's growth from the Tri-State to the Western Tennis Championships to the ATP will run on a loop, and the museum's collection will include photos of nearly every male champion, several Hall of Fame women who played here, rackets from each decade and other tennis artifacts, including an old silver Tiffany trophy and a rare flat-top racket.

        "It's not really a memorabilia museum," said Phil Smith, the tournament's director of communications, though he hopes to add rackets from past champions who will be playing this year.

        Admission is free, but the museum is open only during the tournament and may be a one-year trial, depending on how many visitors it attracts.

        Tournament Director Paul Flory said other improvements aren't huge, but should add to the experience for fans. Additions include:

        • A new mezzanine on the northeastern corner of the Center Court stadium, connecting the entire mezzanine like a skywalk for the first time. The new section will be used for box seat dining, with the south portion of the mezzanine a beer garden and the center portion a new Italian restaurant open to all fans.

        • The conversion of temporary concession stands underneath the Championship Club to permanent food stands. "The fans will have more places to eat," Flory said.

        • An awning over five rows on the upper terrace level to give fans relief from the sun.

        • A new speaker system.

        • An elevator to the mezzanine for the handicapped.

        • The columns at Center Court were painted green.

        • A new ticket office with more will-call windows, which should allow fans to buy tickets and get in the stadium more quickly. It will be connected to the museum by an arch.



 • As the world (tour) turns
 • Museum, mezzanine new for '99
 • If you go
 • Money leaders, rankings


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