Design & Development

Western & Southern Open to introduce groundbreaking seating tech

Featured image credit: Western & Southern Open

Beemok Sports & Entertainment, owners and operators of leading tennis tournament the Western & Southern Open, have detailed the first wave of improvements to its Lindner Family Tennis Center home, including what is said to be world-first seating technology.

Otherwise known as the Cincinnati Masters, the annual ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments are amongst the largest on the tennis calendar outside of the four grand slams. In October, it was announced that the Center would benefit from a $260m (£204.4m/€238.1m) upgrade after it was decided that the tournament would stay in Ohio for another 25 years.

The Lindner Family Tennis Center has staged the event – one of just nine on the circuit that feature both men’s and women’s competitions – since it was built in 1979. However, its long-term future came under threat in May after US businessman Ben Navarro proposed plans for a new $400m tennis campus in Charlotte, North Carolina amid a possible relocation of the Western & Southern Open.

Navarro’s Beemok Capital, a financial services company, acquired the tournament from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in August 2022. With the future of the event now settled, the first wave of improvements have been detailed.

In 2024, Beemok Sports said the Center Court experience will be taken to a whole new level through a total seating transformation. In the next year, each of the nearly 12,000 seats in Center Court will be removed and replaced to feature a brand-new seating experience.

The tournament will also introduce an “industry-leading premium offering”, the Baseline Premier Box Seats. This first-of-its-kind experience will feature oversized seats with groundbreaking climate control, cooling technology along with built-in mini fridges for water and cold towels and access to the 1899 Club, which will offer all-inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Fifty on-court seats will also be added as part of the enhancements, providing the most up-close, personal experience yet for fans. These new seats will be sold on a full series and single session basis. Grandstand Court will also be improved with padded seats added to the entire lower bowl and oversized, suite-style seats installed along the north baseline.

All new seats, including the state-of-the-art, climate-controlled seats, are being provided by DreamSeat, a company that has previously partnered with the likes of MLB’s New York Mets, NFL franchises the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns, and Intuit Dome, future home of the NBA’s LA Clippers.

“Our intention is for every person who visits the tournament to enjoy a world-class, elevated experience,” said Bob Moran, president of Beemok Sports & Entertainment. “These seating upgrades will be an immediate improvement for spectators and are a signal of the continued investments and enhancements that will be made over the coming years.”

Chandler Suprina, president of DreamSeat, added: “We are extremely proud to partner with the tournament on this project and know that all tennis fans who come to Cincinnati for this iconic event will enjoy an even better experience with these new seats.

“The installation of the climate controlled, cooled seats will mark the first time a stadium or arena in the world has used such technology, and we cannot think of a better venue or a more innovative partner to feature them for the first time. These seats will truly be a game changer in terms of the fan experience.”