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March 23, 2008

Raymond Moore

Charlie Pasarell


MATT VAN TUINEN: Again, breakfast. Thanks to Charlie and Ray for coming up. Start with questions. I don't know if you guys want to start something just to start in general about the tournament this year and go from there.
CHARLIE PASARELL: You want me to start?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Again, welcome, and Happy Easter. Like always, we always get a few good surprises coming over here, but as far as I'm concerned - I think Raymond would agree - having Mardy in the finals against Djokovic is a great story, and I'm so pleased for Mardy. You know, I think we're looking for a good final today. I really do.
RAYMOND MOORE: I think it's great. Great for American tennis. Now to find a third player to go with the top two guys. Now we've got three. I'm not talking about the level below with Querrey and Isner, but to have Mardy in the final is great, great American story, and it's what we need.
I love the headline today in the Desert Sun, "Hooked on Fish." In fact, Charlie's and my partner, George Mackin who spends 24/7 thinking up ideas, called me this morning. He said, I want 10,000 T-shirts. Can you get them? "Hooked on Fish." We'll sell every one today. (laughter.)
But I think it's great, and boy has he played well. He really, really played well. I mean, he didn't get there by default. He just just overpowered people.
CHARLIE PASARELL: And regarding the women's final, No. 1 seed, No. 2 seed, so obviously, you know, they played true to form, the way they're supposed to do. You know, that should be also very good match.

Q. You guys talk like two old tennis players, not too promoters.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Anyway, outside of that, we don't have anything to add. Just answer questions on the stuff, chat.
RAYMOND MOORE: We've set a new record, because we've obviously sold a lot of seats today, so we're expecting the attendance to come in at about 330,000.
Every single session from the very first day of the first round of the women's we had increased spectators over last year, every single session. I kept looking, I was thinking are we going to find one session? Yesterday was very close, because, you know, you only have one court going. A sellout is a sellout.
We were only like 100 or 200 seats more than yesterday than in 2007, but every single session we've had increased spectators. And I think, you know, everything aligned. We had great matches. I mean, just phenomenal tennis matches this week.
Personally, I think the surface has been a slow surface, and outdoors lends itself to that kind of tennis.

Q. Last year at this time there was quite a bit of discussion about the demands that would be put upon you by mandatory events for the women and upping the prize money for that and everything. What's the status on that?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Well, you're correct. We're having to come up with in excess of, what is it?
RAYMOND MOORE: There's going to be $9 million prize money next year, and 5.8 this year.
CHARLIE PASARELL: $3.2 million from one year to another, that's a big chunk to absorb, but we're working hard at it. We're looking hard at it, essentially having truly, truly a major event with $9 million in prize money and four-and-a-half for the men and four-and-a-half nor the woman.

Q. You're on track for that and comfortable with that?
RAYMOND MOORE: I wouldn't say we're comfortable. I think we took a big gulp. But what was important to us was to have equal prize money, and so that principle of equal prize money, having the men and women equal, having equal conditions, required play by the women as is the case for the men, that's important to us.
We have to work and we have been working at closing that financial gap and being able to afford a big bump in prize money.

Q. Clearly though it has to work both ways, doesn't it? I mean, if you're going to pay everybody the same and expect the same response from them in return, everyone shows.

Q. That's very important for the sport.
RAYMOND MOORE: It's a quid pro quo. That's exactly what we're expecting.

Q. Can you guys make the nut with that kind of an impost, $9 million?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We missed out charging the press admission. Just kidding. (laughter.)

Q. That wasn't funny. (laughter.)
RAYMOND MOORE: As I said, it's not an easy thing, not an easy thing to do. But what we have been able to do - we've gotten a little bit better - is we sent out invitations six months ago to a whole host of new sponsors, all of which we've been wining and dining and have brought to the tournament, new sponsors, new money into tennis, we hope.
We've had an absolutely terrific response from these new sponsors, and if we land them, that's going to help us close the financial gap.
What has helped has been the great tennis, and these people, new sponsors into the game. I've been taking them down to the front row in the stadium and other courts, and they're just in awe of the athletes and the standard of tennis, and that can only be positive for us.
We don't have it yet. Oh, God we don't have the money in the bank yet, but we certainly hope in the next 60, 90 days to secure new sponsorship.

Q. Charlie, you're influential in the overall world picture for tournaments. This 1000 series, would the other tournaments be able to come up with the $9 million, or are they all looking for new sponsors, too?
CHARLIE PASARELL: They're in the same boat we're in. It is really a bet, you know, into what we think, you know, would be growth in the sport.
The truth of the matter is that we are experiencing tremendous amount of growth, certainly in attendance and ticket revenues. I'm talking all the tournaments, in television and television revenues.
So, you know, I think the sponsorships lag behind that, but I think that they will come. So, yeah, you know, they're in no different position than we're in?

Q. Is tennis becoming easier to sell to people now? Is there a sense that it's a very vibrant sport and that perhaps undersells itself in certain respects, but for you to have that as a tool to sell, it's easier now than perhaps it was five, ten years ago?
RAYMOND MOORE: You know, for me, I still don't understand -- we are experiencing increased attendance for the live matches, as I think are all the other tournaments in North America and the world. But at the same time you're having that, you're having declining TV ratings.
I don't know. I don't know. I just find it hard to understand, although all sports in the United States, with the single exception of the NFL, are seeing declining TV ratings.
But, you know, for the life of me, I just don't understand it.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yeah, actually, I think the declining TV ratings is mostly in the U.S. I think in Europe we're doing fine. I think in some countries we're doing terrifically well, and of course it depends. In Spain in you've got Nadal, you're going to have great TV ratings.
If we've got Murray in England you're going to have great TV ratings. But just by and large, I think that, you know, I think we've got to still have an issue here in America, particularly in the month of March, because we're having to fight March Madness.
But just to kind of go into a little bit of what Raymond was talking about, you know, so, okay, the college basketball is still the prominent sport in March. But if you look around and you look at tennis, I mean, tennis certainly I think just gets a bum rap of what it really is.
Just between Miami and Indian Wells those four weeks, which is about 24 days of tennis, I mean, we will draw in excess of 600,000 fans. Just think about it for a moment. How many college basketball games have to be sold out to bring 600,000 live spectators?
The average arena is 15,000. That's 40 college basketball games to do that. So I don't know too many other sports that are really kind of doing that today outside of college basketball in the month of March. I just think that we just have to toot our horn a little louder and better, you know.
That's what we're attempting to do, and hopefully -- you know, I think it will come. I think tennis will get its deserved place here in America as far as a sport.

Q. Last weekend the signs were up on the gates during the day sessions, "Sold out. No tickets available." What kind of limitations create a sold out situation? Is there something you can do next year to let people in on the middle weekend?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Parking. We ran out of parking spaces.
RAYMOND MOORE: And the fire marshal -- they just said -- we wanted to sell more tickets, believe you me. We print them, so we could have printed more. We're like the federal government. We could have printed more money. But, you know, the fire marshal wouldn't let us. We were totally jammed on Saturday and Sunday.
We're starting to look now into remote parking, bussing people in, which we never wanted to do. But in order to increase the attendance, that's what we have to do.
CHARLIE PASARELL: But as you know, most sporting events and certainly other tennis tournaments from anywhere around the world also have to do some remote parking. You know, and so we've -- I think we provide a lot of parking within walking distance to the stadium. Raymond is correct. I think we're going to have to start thinking about remote parking.

Q. Along those lines probably the last thing you want to think about with the kind of financial obligations you're --

Q. Along those lines, probably it's difficult with the other things you've got to worry about in terms of making it or not, but you have Stadium 2 are Stadium 3 are temporary structures, and potential revenue sources as an additional ticket. Is there a plan right now other than, Gee, wouldn't it be great? Is there any kind of plan or research in place to make those permanent sessions, perhaps split sessions?
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's in the plan, it's a question of when. It is strictly a financial issue. It's interesting that you mention, one of the things that we witnessed this year is absolute increased demand for people wanting to buy reserved seats in Stadiums 2 and 3.
I mean, it's amazing. My ticket office, I was there yesterday, and, you know, just kind of sitting down and relaxing. I said, Well, what's your first thought? The first thought that Margie said, Raymond, we need more reserved seats to sell Stadiums 2 and 3. I can sell them. I thought, Well, that's good news.
RAYMOND MOORE: That's a comment on Charlie. He goes to relax where the money comes in. (laughter.) Into the box office.

Q. Could I go back to the television issue? This year ESPN declined to pick up the coverage and you went with Fox Sports Network. We were getting reports that Fox was switching away from matches in progress to go to things like spring training baseball. How, for the future, are you going to work with Fox - who I assume will cover it next year - to really get the focus on television to sell the sport?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, firstly, just to correct what you said at the beginning, ESPN didn't decline to pick it up. They made us an offer.
The problem was that they reduced the coverage and they were only going to give us eight hours live and four hours taped delay, and that was just...
CHARLIE PASARELL: Tape delay to 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning, which might as well not happen.
RAYMOND MOORE: We just couldn't do that. So we entered into a new relationship with Fox, and, yes, there are problems. You know, it's not perfect at the beginning.
But the reason we did that is we want to work our way to be on network, and it appears to us that Fox might be our only chance simply because the networks have got commitments.
I've talked with NBC several times, and they've said to us, We want to televise Wimbledon and Indian Wells. It really works for us. But they've got two major commitments at the same time to Arnold Palmer's golf tournament first week and to Doral this week.
NBC told us they would cover us if we would put our final here at 9:00 in the morning. Well, we couldn't do that because of the three-hour time change would be 12:00 on the East Coast, and they begin televising Doral on Sunday at 2:00 East Coast time. On Saturday, at 3:00.
So it just doesn't work for us. And then you've got CBS and ABC doing college basketball. So we've entered into this honeymoon with Fox Sports. We know it's not perfect, but they're enthusiastic, and they're embracing us and they're promoting us and they've given us 40 hours of live television this year versus the eight that ESPN offered us.
We're hoping that down the road we can be attractive enough to Fox that we can be on network. Now, they've got NASCAR on Sunday, and that's a problem because NASCAR goes all day. But they can put us on network on Saturday, and we may switch one of the finals to Saturday.
But we want to be on network, because we get a broader audience, and we are very happy with Fox. You know, yeah, it hasn't been perfect. They have delayed. I got a call from a friend of mine in Texas this morning, who Bud Collins will know, Russell Seymour, haranguing me because he couldn't get his final at 12:00 today in Tyler, Texas.
I said, Well, Russell, what time does it come? Well, it's going to be 8:00 tonight or 10:00 tonight. I don't get to see it live. I said call up your local Fox Sports network there and complain. He says, That's what I'll do. He says, I'm going to get my entire tennis club to call them this morning.

Q. That works.
RAYMOND MOORE: That works. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
So that's what we're trying to do, and we are very happy with what Fox has done. They, unlike other things that have happened to us, Fox have promoted us; they have embraced us. They're enthusiastic. They're raw with the announcers, et cetera, like that. I know it's raw. But we're hopeful down the road that this can really lead to more and better coverage of tennis on TV.

Q. I'm just curious why you feel a network is better exposure than ESPN.
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, ESPN just wouldn't give us the time.
CHARLIE PASARELL: ESPN, they gave us basically four hours, period, because the other four hours were worthless. They were literally delayed tape, and I think it was...
RAYMOND MOORE: 3:00 in the morning. They were going to play the men's semis at 3:00 in the morning. That's not coverage.
CHARLIE PASARELL: What good is that?
RAYMOND MOORE: We would have stayed obviously with ESPN. They just reduced the amount of hours.

Q. Bud has been getting a lot of mail through his website about how disappointed people are with Fox. Of course we're not seeing it because we're here, but...
RAYMOND MOORE: I've gotten those same calls from friends of mine in Florida. Where do I find it? It's new. It's new. So they're going to have to learn which channels to go on to find Fox, and it's an experiment this year.
As an experiment goes, I think we're very happy, and it's a way to get better in the future. That's what we're looking for.

Q. Charlie, you always talked about creating the greatest show in the world, and it is. We have seen yesterday, Morgan Pressel from the other tournament came here to the press conference to meet you, escorted diplomats. Gwen Stefani was here the other day. What's the idea to expand this in a celebrity way and bring this to the level the tournament is considering, the $9 million award next year?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We've always had celebrities historically. Some of you may remember back in La Quinta we had Johnny Carson come here. One thing we don't do here is parade the celebrities. They're here. There are a lot more than the people you mentioned. They're going to be here, and they come because they enjoy that. Some of them like to be paraded. Some of them don't. We certainly leave it up to them. You know, I mean, we're always inundated by mega celebrities in here.
I always say, If you have to put a label to this thing, you know, this could be called "Hollywood's Grand Slam." It's just a label. But in a way, yes, this is the celebrity capital of the world, and they've been coming for a long time. More and more are coming every year, so I think you'll see that trend to continue to grow.

Q. If you guys take care of the parking, what would the capacity be here for attendance?

Q. If you take care of the parking or if you add more parking --
RAYMOND MOORE: Our CUP allows us to have 25,000 people on-site at one time. For those weekends we were only at 20,000, but we need to get more parking.

Q. What's the parking capacity again? I don't remember what it was.
CHARLIE PASARELL: About 7,000 cars, close to it.

Q. 7,000 cars?
RAYMOND MOORE: Yeah. And the parking studies that they do, that's an average of three people per car.
CHARLIE PASARELL: That's about 21,000 people, and that's about what we had.

Q. Can you confirm that the first weekends of the tournament have become your real heavily attended revenue-generating weekend, even more so than the final?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Oh, yeah. Just like the Grand Slams. It's the same thing when you go to the US Open, the biggest -- that Labor Day weekend. I mean, it's phenomenal. And Wimbledon. Because you've got so many matches all over, we have people actually who come that weekend that won't even go into Stadium Court.
They sit in Stadium 2 or sit in Stadium 3 because they get to be closer and watch the matches there, and so I think it's a great scene to see all those people roaming around.
RAYMOND MOORE: It's a great sporting spectacle. And, you know, if you go Saturday and Sunday you'll see every great player in the world, whether they're at practice courts or easily accessible to the people or they're playing matches. So as a sports fan you're going to se all the best players.
That's the attractiveness of that weekend, whereas when you get towards the final now you'll see two players only. You're not going to see them all.

Q. It is only a couple of years ago that you said, Well, we built this for seating capacity with more than what we expected this year, meaning several years ago, that we're going to grow into it. And you have.

Q. That's something.

Q. I know it's kind of a huge subject - and Charlie you're obviously involved heavily with the ATP - if you were having a sort of state of the game address, what would your specific points be? What do you think of the state of the game as we stand today?
CHARLIE PASARELL: I think we've got a tremendous future. I think, you know, I think most of the changes that we're making for the sport are going to really propel this game to even much greater heights, you know, and this was not done, you know, from what we think or what we believe or anything.
This was actually done with a lot of research, consumer research, because at the end of the day it doesn't matter what Raymond thinks is best or what I think is best, it's really about what -- those people are buying tickets, and what they think is the best. Same thing for you guys.
And so I think these moves are, you know, I know they're controversial, many of them, but I think it's -- you know, I think it will propel the game even to greater heights, and so I'm a strong supporter of what we're doing, obviously. I haven't agreed with everything, but I agree with 95% of what we're doing?

Q. Charlie, coming back to the television coverage, I'm was talking to a woman from England and her husband out on the grounds. When they watch Wimbledon, they can pick, from a satellite TV service, one of four or six courts to watch matches on. Is there any possibility to expand that connection to Fox, maybe Center Court coverage but having auxiliary TV coverage?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes, absolutely. And that's certainly one of the topics of discussion.
And now we're developing new media, you know, your computers and, you know, basically. All sports are doing that, and I think we're pretty much up there trying to do what everybody else is doing so that if you are, I'll pick a name, you might want to see -- people in Thailand want to see Srichaphan, and we expand our coverage of courts, having cameras out there. We may be able to deliver to Thailand Srichaphan matches.
That's certainly something we spend a lot of time talking about. Again, it's a function of making an investment, and we're starting to make those investments. We're doing that collectively, by the way. It's not just us individually. We have to do it collectively with all of the Masters Series and I say now the Future 500 tournaments that are going to go out there and make this investment into really creating I think a circuit.
One of the things the research said is the average fan, and many of the hard core fans don't understand what the circuit is all about, what the tour is all about. They kind of know some events, but they don't note the difference of the events. They really just didn't have a good understanding.
Part of it is to try to give a sense of there's a beginning, middle, and there's an end to the tour, and every one of us is a piece of that tour, every single major event, every single event is a piece of that tour. What piece, you know, how big or important of that piece is, it's really what it's all about. I think if we succeed in doing that, I think we will gain many, many more fans.

Q. In terms of new media, where are you are with streaming video?
RAYMOND MOORE: We're doing it. It still needs to improve, but we're doing it. We're actually trying to -- and we're trying to understand, like almost everybody else -- is that going to be advertising driven or is it going to be more, you know, consumer driven. So we're kind of doing little bit of both and trying to find out even amongst ourselves. We have discussions, and some people say, no, we should push the advertising driven and other people say no, let's do the consumer driven.
TV is still, you know, king, and anyway...

Q. Coming back to the TV, I guess I'm bit of an old-timer. 30 years ago when Bud was doing the PBS broadcast and there were a series of five, six, U.S. tournaments, that was considered the glory days of tennis with Connors, Borg and Nastase. Is there any chance that that sort of circuit will get back into...
CHARLIE PASARELL: I heard. What happens Connors, Borg, Nastase, McEnroe leave the game? Next thing we had Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Courier, Edberg, and we had a whole host of great players that came along.
So we just go through the cycles. Now we have the Federer. For a couple years it was Federer and Nadal. Now we're starting to ask ourselves, Maybe there's Djokovic in there, and God knows who else is going to pop up. You know, hopefully we get one American, whether it be Blake, Roddick, or Fish that can kind of start catching up with these guys.
But anyway, there's a lot of good players out there, and that's the game.

Q. One of the reasons we were so successful on public television was Monday night finals. Nobody's tried it since.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We did it once at Indian Wells, and we had -- ESPN was broadcasting it, and they had a conflict for the Sunday. I forget what the conflict was, but they said, We got Monday night open. We jumped on it right away, and we did it.
Not only did we get Monday night from them, but we actually had a Sampras/Agassi final, which was like -- that took the air of a world heavy weight championship fight.
We were getting phone calls from all over the world. People were saying I'm going to fly my jet. Can I get a ticket? It was incredible. Frank Sinatra always bought seats here. His wife, Barbara, loves tennis. She's here, she's going to be here today. But Frank never came. He came for that one. I mean, he wasn't going to miss that.
So you're right. I mean, that would be sensational if we could get back into Monday night.

Q. I can't imagine why they don't it.
RAYMOND MOORE: The Monday night finals were just spectacular in the summer. The problem we ended up with and which we encounter now, is those were all in the summer. Now when you've got three majors in the French, Wimbledon, and the US Open played over, like, 14 weeks, the players aren't playing all of those -- and July is almost a dead month, you know. The top players are taking time off.
CHARLIE PASARELL: To do that in the summer, what Raymond is trying to say would be difficult because you have so many tournaments, you know.
RAYMOND MOORE: I still think I agree, Monday night's sport in this country certainly is huge, but then you go up against ratings again, you know. They put on a primetime show, it's difficult to compete with that kind of stuff on view.
I just want to go back to one thing when you talk about state of the game, and state of the game is, I think, always measured with equipment sales, because then you know about participation. And the one barometer is tennis ball sales. That's how you know how many people are playing the game accurately, because the racquets now are so well-made they never break, and so the way that you gauge participation in the sport is through tennis ball sales.
We've had, I think now, 12 straight quarters of growth. And so participation in this country is on the upswing. It is very positive.

Q. That's in the United States as a whole?
RAYMOND MOORE: That's in the United States as a whole.
If you compare it to golf, for example, golf is down like 14% over the same period. Tennis is going up.
More young people are playing. Kids now, the USTA program they've embarked upon, they're really pushing...
RAYMOND MOORE: It's working. Because they're selling now the racquets for kids, those models. Huge increase in sales.
So I think the state of the game is very, very good, very positive.

Q. You have to convince the sports editors who are giving this gate-type little truss ads...
CHARLIE PASARELL: That was my comment. We get a bum rap. We don't get our due, what we should be getting. But we won't quit?

Q. It's so discouraging.

Q. I notice that the betting sites - I was trying to read an Andy Murray article, not gambling - and I noticed on the betting sites, that they stream video. We've come to demonize betting for obvious reasons, but betting has actually added some popularity to tennis. How does tennis work by increasing the popularity without demonizing it? How do you work with betting without demonizing it? Because a number of fans bet and they stream video. How do you work with that? Build a working relationship with that?
CHARLIE PASARELL: First of all, you are right. It would be impossible for us to eliminate betting in tennis or eliminate betting in any sport. It happens, okay?
You know, the dangers are that we don't want to corrupt the sport. I don't know have the answer, the exact answer today, but it's something that I know not only is the ATP, the Sony Ericsson, WTA Tour, all the Slams, we are looking at this very, very seriously.
We have retained experts to really, you know, do investigations and analysis of, you know, how can we, how can we get this sport to, you know, be out there and prevent it from being corruption.
In a way, we're not trying to stop the betting. We're trying to stop the corruption. That's legally what we're trying to do. We know we can't stop the betting. I guess we can take a shot at it, but it's just impossible to do that.
But it is a serious problem, and, you know, kind of, in a way, I think what you're saying, is that the element of gambling sometimes creates an attraction to something, and that's true. You know, we know that people bet lots of money, football, they bet lots of money on basketball games. It just happens.
So now they're starting to bet a lot of money in tennis. Kind of in a way, saying, Wow, we're now being considered a major sport in a way. (laughter.)

Q. Any thoughts to adding other events during the second week? Maybe juniors, college, something like that might be coming up soon?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Yes. Some of you know about it, but we get an unbelievable amount of requests from young players and players from this area, and actually from elsewhere, about can I get a walk-on? Can I get a walk-on to the qualifying?
So we have now started creating these competitions before the tournament that are pre, pre, pre-qualifying. I mean, we're calling them a challenge. And so this year, for example, we had both in the men's and the women's we had a draw of, I believe, 32 players, wasn't, 32 in each?
CHARLIE PASARELL: 32 players, or local players, that whoever won from each of those things would get -- actually two players will go into the pre, pre-qualifying. Yeah, into the pre-pre-qualifying tournament. Then we would bring some players from outside, you know, and that then -- they have a playoff, and whoever won that tournament, that little mini tournament, will then move on to get a wildcard into the qualifying.
We hope to expand that. It's an opportunity to give a lot of kids and hopeful players to break through the ranks that normally they wouldn't get a chance to play.

Q. How about during the tournament, during the second week as it starts funneling down...
CHARLIE PASARELL: One of the things we're doing, this involves amateur players. What are we calling it? Tom Fey, who is our director of tennis here, he puts it together with the USTA. We have 12 out of the 16, 17 sections in the -- 17 sections -- we have 12 of the sections have had competitions and, we've taken 3.5 level, men and women, they have taken their winners, and they've send them down here to compete.
As we speak, they're out there playing, and they're having this competition. We will, you know, present them with nice trophies, playing alongside the pros. They get to watch the finals. We had about 190 players, I think, 190 players participating in this.
RAYMOND MOORE: But we're also looking at a junior event. We have that on the drawing board. We're looking at it. We would like to have a major junior event here.

Q. You do have the different college events during the year, but this being spring break, a lot of those teams are looking for warm weather climates.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We've done that, too. We've had college teams come out and play. We really try to go beyond just having the top pros play here.
And other things, I looked at, you know, Tom Fey runs, besides this tournament, the Pacific Life Open, we run about 15 other events here throughout the year of all kinds of competitions, amateur competitions, and collegiate events and a number of things.
So we really -- we're out there to grow tennis for this facility.

Q. Charlie, is there any chance that this tournament can also do mixed doubles next tournament?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We've talked about that. Again, you know, it's a function of how much the players really want to play and, yeah, we've talked about it. That would be a consideration.

Q. Charlie, I seem to bring this up every year so I might as well keep the faith. It seems to me that seeding one third of the players in a 96-player draw and giving them all of them byes is a distortion of what a seed is meant to do, which is to recognize past accomplishment. You've got seeds in your event, guys that haven't won any more matches this year than they've lost. Do you have any idea you might change that?
CHARLIE PASARELL: No. I think that we're doing the right thing.

Q. How many seeds were there when you were playing at Wimbledon?
CHARLIE PASARELL: 16. I think at one time there were only 8. You weren't born yet. (laughter.)
RAYMOND MOORE: That was back when you and Bill Tilden were playing. (Laughter.)

Q. Thank you. I'll bring it up again next year.
CHARLIE PASARELL: That's okay. I'll give you the same answer. (laughter.)

Q. What is your rationale, Charlie? Because it's absurd.
CHARLIE PASARELL: You think so? To seed 32 players?

Q. Yes. Seed them all.
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's not an objective opinion by anybody. It's a subjective opinion. Basically, we think that if you've earned -- you're a 32 highest ranked player, you deserve a bye, because it's based on ranking. You are the 32 best player.

Q. But then why not seed them all?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We're trying to be modern. Anyway, we can argue this subjectively all the time.

Q. That's your feeling?
CHARLIE PASARELL: There's no -- it's just what you think. Not what is right or wrong.

Q. The Slams also award 32 seeds, but at least they make them play in the first round. Here's it's a passport.
CHARLIE PASARELL: We would make them play in the first round if they let us expand the draw to 128.

Q. Would you like that?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Sure. Absolutely.
RAYMOND MOORE: Absolutely.

Q. In the same time frame?
RAYMOND MOORE: No, you can't --
CHARLIE PASARELL: We would probably need to probably start on Wednesday, need to start on Wednesday with the men's matches. We're starting on Thursday, but we would need to start on Wednesday.
RAYMOND MOORE: You need to start even earlier than that, and this year, interestingly enough, it was the players, the ATP players that requested a day earlier start.
RAYMOND MOORE: It used to only be 10 days in the men. Now we're 11, and at the annual meeting at Wimbledon the players requested the extra day, because they're now treating this like a mini Slam. It's important that they get the day off, you know, after a match.
But just to embellish on what Charlie said, is, yes, we'd love to go to a 128 draw. If they gave us 14 days like the Slams, we'd do it in a heartbeat.

Q. You're also obliged now to have 32 seeds. It's not like your decision?
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's the tour rules.
RAYMOND MOORE: It's the tour rules.

Q. But the players don't want 128-player, two tournaments in a row. They're not going to play...
RAYMOND MOORE: No, they don't. What they enjoy now, is the players that have finished today have three or four days off before they have to play in Key Biscayne.
Ones that lost earlier have a little more time, and they want that break between our tournament and Miami. So I think right now it works. It works for everybody. I know that 32 players getting a bye is controversial, but it's a tour rule and it's something the players, you know -- we have to abide by that rule whether we like it or not.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Just to correct you there, there will be 32 players that don't get into the main draw that would love to have 128 draws.
MATT VAN TUINEN: Wouldn't you agree, too, you'd never play Wimbledon and the French Open back to back. So if it's mandatory players and you have all the best players in the world here, you'd never play those two tournaments back to back.
CHARLIE PASARELL: But we could separate Miami and Indian Wells by a week or two so that could be also done.

Q. Is there any possibility that that could happen, go to 128?
CHARLIE PASARELL: You know, I never say never.

Q. Pretty close?
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's not on, you know, the agenda.
RAYMOND MOORE: It's not on the radar screen right now. I think what we have now both for Miami and ourselves is we are the two most successful tournaments outside of the Grand Slams. It works. It works for both tournaments right now.

Q. Don't fix it.
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, then, some people like Bud are going to be upset with us. (laughter.)

Q. On the WTA side, still, the two biggest names from the United States are Venus and Serena Williams. You're going next year to mandatory entry, but they haven't appeared here the last few years. Are you making active outreach efforts and working to bring them here?
CHARLIE PASARELL: We've been doing that every year. You know, I keep saying that question gets asked every year by many people. I say, We'd love to have them come. It would be fantastic if they came. If they came, I think they'd get a tremendous reception here.
Yeah, I mean, we'd love to have them come, so it will be an interesting approach, you know. But I always will say I don't -- at least I'm -- I've always acted this way: I never ask or beg or try to force a player to come and play here. You know, if they want to come and play, great. If they don't want to come and play, that's their loss, not ours, in my opinion. That's the way I feel. I genuinely feel that way.

Q. Coming back to the WTA, a couple years ago this tournament was in a little bit of financial hardship, and the USTA came in and became a partner. There was a lot of moving around of the chairs. Now the Acura Challenge over in La Costa has been canceled by the women's tour. Is there any chance this tournament could get a women's tournament back in La Costa in conjunction with the USTA?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, firstly, we don't need another women's tournament here, but we actually did bid to buy that tournament, the Acura. We went to the WTA and made a financial offer to buy that event. It was turned down. The USTA tried to buy it. That was turned down. And because it didn't fit into the overall plan of the WTA, they wanted to retire one or two of the big tournaments in the United States to have Beijing come in as a big tournament. That was the trade-off with the WTA.

Q. If you would have been successful to buy the Acura, would you have kept it in San Diego County?
RAYMOND MOORE: Yes, that was the whole point. I met with the owners of the resort, KSL in Carlsbad, and we really wanted to keep that tournament there because we thought it was a great market at a great time in the summer in California. Beautiful weather. In another region that traditionally over the years has had big-time tennis.
There were several suitors, you know, trying to buy that tournament, but the WTA, what ended up happening was the WTA ended up buying that tournament, paying off Raquel and her partner, and they retired that franchise from the United States.
Then they sold it to Beijing. So that's the way they got Beijing in at that level.

Q. You talked about the number of tennis events you have in this facility. I mean, you're going to have an NBA game here in October.

Q. Are there plans to expand that as far as nontennis events in this facility, to add a lot more?
RAYMOND MOORE: Well, that's the department I work with, and this is an underutilized facility. It's a beautiful facility. We have some handicaps. In August it's 120 degrees. It's hard to do anything here in the stadium except maybe water polo (laughter.)

Q. Have you thought of that?
RAYMOND MOORE: We've had eight concerts here over the last 18 months. We have Pavarotti before he died. We had Bocelli, The Eagles, Tom Petty, we had The Who, we had a Mexican rock 'n roll band called RBD.
RAYMOND MOORE: So we've done a lot of those things. And with the NBA, they came out here, so we're going to be the first outdoor game that they've ever had. Except they had one in Puerto Rico in 1972, but it was on a baseball field and it didn't work out. (laughter.)
So the NBA came here, and they told us that our facility here is better than most of the NBA teams have, because we have everything. We've got locker rooms, the court size is perfect, fits absolutely perfect for a basketball court.
And then what happened is we made the deal with the Phoenix Suns, and 29 other NBA teams wanted to be the other team.
RAYMOND MOORE: We sold out. 17,000 seats, we've sold out. The second one is the Denver Nuggets. And what they told us is NBA pros all start playing pros, start playing basketball outdoors, and they all just wanted to play outdoors.
So the NBA came out here. They are very thorough. They laid the court. There were things about player safety and all that kind of stuff. Then they went away with a glowing report. They said, Absolutely better than most of the NBA franchises play in. They're giving us one game this year. I asked for two. They said that if it's successful, we could get two next year.
And so, yeah, we're trying to -- we're trying to market our facility, get it better known. Our concerts have really helped here. We've been able to sell suites and tickets to people that have been here at the concerts.

Q. So it didn't work on a baseball field, but it's going to work in a tennis court?
RAYMOND MOORE: Because of the stands, the design of the stadium which is Charlie's brainchild is we built it up. If you go to the US Open they built it like a bowl: Out. We candelabra'd the stands.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Cantilevered, not candleabra'd.
RAYMOND MOORE: And so people are close to the action. So for basketball it's close.

Q. Is Buss envious he didn't come up with this idea first?
RAYMOND MOORE: I think -- I don't know a lot about basketball. Charlie claims to, being a UCLA guy.
CHARLIE PASARELL: You go to UCLA, you know a lot about basketball.
RAYMOND MOORE: The Phoenix Suns came in and said to us, We're not going to tell you who we're going to bring in, but we're going to tell you who we're not. We're not bringing in the Lakers. (laughter.) They hate the Lakers.

Q. Have you guys thought about holding boxing in your facility?

Q. With a huge Hispanic community around here I think it would really go terrific?
RAYMOND MOORE: We wanted to do Oscar De La Hoya fight here. Originally our CUP prohibited boxing here. There has been a change in the city council and they will now accept boxing here. Sure we'd love to do that.
CHARLIE PASARELL: Getting back to the basketball, the buzz, as Raymond said during the All-Star Game was incredible, because of this outdoor because it's become -- now it's actually being promoted as, The NBA Outdoors.
I mean, it's really been taking a life of its own. TNT heard about it and immediately said, We're televising it nationally. Then the other thing that's happened, we then got a phone call from -- I didn't know this league existed, but there's a 3-on-3 basketball league. Goes all over the country. They play outdoors in parks and everything.
So we're hosting a 3-on-3 basketball championship the whole weekend, and it's free and we're going to have baskets --
RAYMOND MOORE: We'll have 600 teams playing in this 3-on-3 basketball. And what Charlie said, which maybe goes back to our earlier conversation about TV, as soon as they heard about it, TNT said, We're going to televise this nationally. Secondly, we're sending out four teams, Charles Barkley. The superstars of TNT will all be here, which is fantastic.
CHARLIE PASARELL: It's great. That's going to lend a lot of credibility to this venue for all kinds of sporting events.

Q. Only if they give you 40 hours of live coverage of this tournament next year?
CHARLIE PASARELL: Actually, that's not a bad idea.

Q. Your stadium, Stadium 1 doesn't have a very sexy name. Why not name the stadium on an annual basis for the two singles champions? It would be Sharapova/Djokovic Stadium until next year, whoever wins the singles championships until the finals next year, and then it becomes the men's and women's singles final stadium for one year. It sounds a lot better than Stadium 1.
RAYMOND MOORE: I know, but there are a lot of things we can do, and we've thought about those. We've thought about naming some of the stadiums after great Californian players, Jack Kramer, whoever. We've thought about all that. We happened to have a guy who lives here in the desert named Pete Sampras who is also an investor, so we've thought about some of that.
RAYMOND MOORE: Billie Jean King kind of preempted us by going to New York.

Q. Actually, it was interesting when she showed up at Madison Square Garden for the Sampras/Federer match, some guy said, Oh, no. They're not name this place after her, as well?
CHARLIE PASARELL: They should. She is --
RAYMOND MOORE: -- the most enthusiastic -- I mean, I saw Billie Jean and she jumped up the other day in our suite, she jumped up and just peppered me with questions, ba, ba, ba, ba. Why did you do this? Why did you do that?
CHARLIE PASARELL: She is great. Can't find a better partner than her. Can't find a better girl than her. She's our hero in my book, absolute hero.
MATT VAN TUINEN: Any more? It's been an hour almost.

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