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Indianapolis tennis event likely moving

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Dwindling fan attendance and a shortage of highly ranked tennis players may result in the Indianapolis Tennis Championships relocating, an official said.

Tournament director Kevin Martin said attendance to the U.S. Open Series event drew only 41,000 fans this July, significantly less than the nearly 100,000 fans the event drew during the time of stars like John McEnroe and Pete Sampras, The Indianapolis Star said Monday.

Martin said the non-profit group that operates the event is hoping to sell the tennis tournament’s sanctioning rights, but has not received any bids to date.

“We’ve had no offers from anyone in Indianapolis to buy it,” Martin said Sunday. “So I anticipate it will be moving.”

Martin added it remains undetermined where the Indianapolis event could move. The tournament is scheduled to begin on July 19, 2010.

Martin told the Star while Eli Lilly and Co. previously served as a presenting sponsor for the last two incarnations of the event, his group is still awaiting a decision from Eli Lilly and another unnamed company.

“They haven’t said no, but we were probably going to need to find multiple sponsors,” he said regarding the unidentified company tabbed as a possible 2010 title sponsor.

© 2009 UPI. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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