Tennis Championships To Boost Istanbul's 2020 Olympic Bid

The WTA Championships being held in Istanbul, Turkey this week, could boost Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

The season-ending event, to be held in Istanbul for the next three years, has close to $5 million in prize money.

Alan Seymour, a professor of sports marketing at the U.K.’s University of Northampton, said that hosting the top event on the women’s tour “can only be a significant building block in anything that they try to do to raise the profile of Istanbul and Turkey as a possible venue for the Olympics”.

WTA Tour Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Stacey Allaster said, “Turkey is a huge market with enormous potential”. The country “has done a great job of hosting some of the biggest sporting events. Turkey may very well have the resources, the facilities, and all of the potential to become an Olympic host nation”.

Bloomberg reports since 1994 Istanbul has built 14 Olympic venues, including the 75,000-seat Istanbul Ataturk Olympic Stadium and the multi-purpose Sinan Erdem Dome, site of last year’s World Basketball Championships and the venue for the WTA Championships.

Istanbul is competing with Rome, Tokyo, Doha, Madrid and Baku for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will select the host city in 2013.

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