MELBOURNE, Australia — The WTA Finals, the elite season-ending event for women’s tennis, will leave Singapore after this year and begin a 10-year run in Shenzhen, China from 2019 through 2028.
The lucrative, long-term deal — announced by the WTA on Thursday — deepens the tour’s commitment to China, a crucial market, and will increase the event’s total prize money to $14 million in 2019, which is double the current amount.
According to the WTA, the Shenzhen organizers have committed to building a new facility in the downtown area of Shenzhen at a cost of approximately $450 million. The facility will include an indoor stadium with a capacity of 12,000.
“When you factor in the commitment to prize money and the commitments to the WTA, and you factor in the stadium build and real-estate elements, it’s over a $1 billion dollar commitment they have made to the WTA Finals and the WTA,” Steve Simon, the chief executive and chairman of the WTA, said in an interview on Thursday.
Simon declined to divulge the amount of the WTA’s rights fee but said it was a major increase on the existing five-year deal with Singapore, which reportedly paid more than $14 million per year.