Despite being the oldest women’s-only tournament in the world and one of the most attended, the Bank of the West Classic will have to move out of the Stanford University campus as soon as in 2018, simply because the university bureaucracy has decided to change its policies.
IMG, the tournament’s current owner, released the following statement:
After 21 years of partnering with Stanford University, IMG has been notified by the University that its policy of hosting corporate sponsored events on campus has changed and Stanford will no longer be able to host a WTA event at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. IMG’s highest priority is to keep the event in the Bay Area and we are working on a plan to do so.
As my photographer Jimmie48 tweeted, IMG was willing to pay triple the rent and the Premier-level tournament has all the support from sponsors, but nothing can be done to beat the university’s decision.
These historic photos of 2017 Stanford finalists Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys are now even more precious.
The 2012 and 2017 Stanford runner-up Vandeweghe has been vocal on Twitter, saying:
This is terrible. The Bank of the West Classic is one of my all time favorites. WTA and USTA, how can we allow ourselves to lose another tournament. Come on guys.
American Madison Keys is now officially the last Stanford champion.
The Bank of the West Classic is the first women’s event in the US Open Series and the fact that it has to find a new location already for the 2018 edition puts a lot on pressure on IMG. Let’s see how this situation will develop and how successful IMG will be in providing a new suitable venue.