Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It’s been a long time coming. The only professional squash tournament in the state of Michigan - the Motor City Open - is currently held at the BAC. And, they do a terrific job. It has grown over the past few years in terms of prize money and I know from personal experience since I have played in it myself that the players love the event. It’s not the largest tournament in the country with a $50,000 purse, but as far as I can tell, it’s in the top five.

Curiously, the Motor City Open used to be held at the DAC. I do not know the story of what really happened and why it moved, but since it did, we haven’t held a pro event here since. That is about to change.

Joe McManus of the PST (Pro Squash Tour) approached me in the summer as asked if we would be interested in hosting their end of season tour tournament. PST, if you recall, is the US based squash tour in which the PSA (Professional Squash Association) banned its players from competing in. You can read an article I wrote about the ban here:

The ban is still in place. Joe points out that the ban will in the long run only hurt PSA since he isn’t about to go away. Rather than work with them, he is forced to compete against them. He is extremely pro-active in promoting and marketing his product and raising money and sponsorship dollars. He will eventually get to a point that the purses he can offer for his events will start to look very attractive for top PSA players and no doubt they will start to jump ship. It won’t happen this year, but it could be a different scenario five years from now if the current trend continues -  signs are pointing to an accelerated growth. However, I digress.

We have agreed to Joe’s request, so on May 4-6, 2012 we will be hosting their tour finale which will feature the top 8 players from the 2011-2012 PST in a 3-day, knock-out draw. While I cannot guarantee who will be in the event, I can certainly speculate. There is a decent chance we will see John White. John will be active on the tour and is an ex world #1 player and also holds the world record for the hardest hit squash ball at 172 mph. To put that into perspective, the fastest tennis serve ever recorded is 156 mph. No matter who will step on court, the squash is guaranteed to be nothing short of sensational. (As a reminder, the PST implements the ‘no let’ rule. That means all player requests for interference will be decided with a ‘stroke’ or ‘no-let’. Replaying the rally with a ‘let’ is not an option.)

As an added bonus, the event will be webcasted live. PST will be taking care of all the particulars with that, but it will be excellent promotion for the club… and the tournament sponsors. Which brings me to the next item: Are you (or your company) willing to sponsor this event? Naturally we need to raise money. Your name could be the one not only displayed in the club, but also broadcast live during the event over the internet.

Contact me if you are interested in getting involved with bringing the professionals back to the DAC. World class professionals. In a world class squash tournament. At our world class venue.

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