New Haven seeks attendance boost

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The New Haven Open is closing the upper bowl at the Connecticut Tennis Center for this year's tournament amid dwindling attendance numbers.

Tournament directory Anne Worcester says the idea is to create a more intimate atmosphere and make the stadium seem less empty than in has in recent years.

She says she hopes fewer available tickets will result in more advanced sales.

About 53,000 fans attended last year's tournament, down from crowds that once hovered close to 90,000 to see the final hard-court event before the U.S. Open.

The WTA tournament -- which begins Sunday and runs through the week -- is in its final year of a three-year deal with its major sponsors, including Yale.

This year's event features four of the top-10 players in the world.

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