The United States Tennis Association has announced it will eliminate 110 jobs and close its national headquarters in White Plains, New York, as a result of the devastating financial effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The move comes as the USTA continues its attempts to stage its flagship event, the US Open grand slam, on its scheduled dates in the calendar at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, albeit without spectators.
In April the USTA identified more than $20m in savings, including tiered pay cuts for senior executives for the remainder of 2020, eliminating marketing, player development and operations costs, and deferring all non-essential capital projects.
Other budget-trimming moves include: reducing the national staff by about 20 per cent; moving the head office to a yet-to-be-determined location in New York; significant reductions in meeting and travel expenses for the years 2021-23; and “significant cuts in business units and other investments that are not aligned with the USTA’s strategic priorities.”
USTA chief executive officer Michael Dowse said in a statement: “We have an opportunity to re-imagine the structure of the organization to better serve the tennis community in the United States. This new structure allows the USTA to be more agile and more cost effective, while getting closer to tennis players at the local level.
“Unfortunately, today represents a challenging day for many of the USTA family who have been negatively affected by the downsizing of the organization, and I would like to sincerely thank each USTA staff member for their dedication to the organization,” Dowse added.
The Cincinnati Masters could reportedly be held at the National Tennis Center as part of a doubleheader with the US Open. The high-profile tournament, which is also known as the Western & Southern Open, is currently scheduled for August 17 to 23 in Mason, Ohio. The main draw of the US Open, meanwhile, is slated for August 31-September 13.