Sports

Stanford policy change means no more pro tennis at Taube

 
CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys (right) played in last summer's championship match at Taube Tennis Center. Keys won, becoming the final champion of the uniquely Stanford event. Photo by Harjanto Sumali.

Inside Tennis reported that the Bank of the West Classic will be leaving Stanford after the University made it known it doesn't want to host a tournament with a commercial sponsor.

The tournament, which began in Oakland in 1971, has been played at the Taube Family Tennis Center the past 22 years and has helped advance the careers of several of the sports' stars.

Serena Williams used the tournament as a first step in her comeback several years ago, winning it and then rising to the top of the rankings again.

Stanford grad Nicole Gibbs and Atherton resident C.C. Bellis used the tournament as a jumping point.

Inside Tennis reported Stanford tripled the rent on the event and Bank of the West still agreed to sponsor it.

Despite support from the Stanford tennis programs and the athletic department as a whole, the University ultimately decided it did not want a commercial entity to sponsor a campus event.

IMG owns the rights to the tournament but does not have a sponsor or a site. IMG has been in talks with several other sites.

The Classic is the first women's event of the U.S. Open Series and is the longest continuous running women's tournament in the world.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Diablo
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Terrible news! Just discovered this a few years back and have seen some great matches there. Being able to cycle there was a big bonus. It will be to duplicate the great location and vibe of this tournament.


9 people like this
Posted by season ticket holder
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 11, 2017 at 12:37 pm

As a Stanford alum, football season ticket holder and somebody who goes to several days of the Bank of the West tennis tournament each year, you are telling me that each football game has no commercial sponsors?? We get bombarded with commercials all during the game, whether graphics, posters or actual video bits.

To me (of course just my opinion) this tournament fits into the Stanford mojo of getting the world's best to grace the campus. And unless they are also going to cut out the Earthquake games and Oracle track and field and other events that do happen there, this seems a bit inconsistent in its logic. Guess I might stop my donations.....


13 people like this
Posted by cheeseguy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm

This is terrible news. I often took time off work to attend this event (for like the last 10 years). How ridiculous can Stanford get when they talk of not wanting a commercial sponsor on campus. As noted above, the football games are a constant assault of commercial sponsors. Stanford has long been linked to commercial elements in the community. The tournament often featured and highlighted the participation of women who had recently played in the Stanford tennis program and had now turned pro. The Bank of the West always seemed to present itself in a respectable manner. Very sad news indeed and I suspect the real reason is something more complicated than reported in this story.


7 people like this
Posted by Sports Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2017 at 10:29 am

Sports Guy is a registered user.

Kind of of hypocritical of Stanford to do this, especially since the athletic department takes millions of dollars from Nike to outfit its teams. My guess is that this comes from alum John Arrillaga, who pretty much controls the athletic department. He has a big say in who gets hired and fired these days, that's why Johnny Dawkins no longer coaches the men's basketball team.


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Is there a further clarification of this? "the University made it known it doesn't want to host a tournament with a commercial sponsor" just doesn't add up. There are all kinds of commercial sponsorship of all kinds of events at Stanford, so, it really isn't clear what they are trying to say. Of course, I could imagine that Stanford is trying to avoid something highly political, and, this tournament is just collateral damage, so, Stanford may not want to be too clear.


Like this comment
Posted by Sports Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 12, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Sports Guy is a registered user.

Honestly, I think Stanford doesn't want to use any of its people in these non-university events. The annual Stanford Invitational cross country meet for the preps was canceled earlier this year. The school held the CCS swim finals one season then canceled. The annual Stanford Invitational track meet, reportedly, is a huge headache for the university staff but it does bring in a lot of entry fees. All the athletic department wants, it seems, is hosting its very expensive camps during the summer for various sports. Anything else is just a big pain, it seems. Stanford used to be the leader in a lot of things, hosting events like the USA national track and field championships, national swim championships, all the masters events and a host of other things. Now, pretty much all of those events are gone. Stanford officials evidently just want a normal summer vacation.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Sports Guy wrote: "Anything else is just a big pain, it seems. Stanford used to be the leader in a lot of things, hosting events like the USA national track and field championships, national swim championships, all the masters events and a host of other things. Now, pretty much all of those events are gone. Stanford officials evidently just want a normal summer vacation."

Stanford was pretty dead during the summer back in the day. Nowadays, it seems very busy during the summer, so, I guess Stanford does not need the extra activity any more. Still, it seems a shame to shut down an established activity that is actually enjoyed by the community at large. You would think that Stanford might see the side benefit of the friendly community outreach that such events generally involve.


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