by Butch Buchholz
in 1985, is owned by IMG
in 1985, is owned by IMG
Adam Barrett Named Tournament Director: Founder and Chairman Butch Buchholz promoted Executive Vice President Adam Barrett to Tournament Director.
The dream of an international tennis tournament in Miami began three decades ago, when top tennis players such as Jack Kramer, Frank Sedgman, Pancho Gonzalez, Pancho Segura and Butch Buchholz
toured the country in a station wagon, playing tennis in darkened arenas and fairgrounds.
Buchholz - an original member of the "Handsome Eight" (the first recognized pros of Lamar Hunt's World Championship Tennis Circuit introduced in 1968) - competed until he was forced to retire from tennis in 1970 with chronic tennis elbow.
In 1980, when Buchholz was executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) - the player's union - he met a vice president of the Thomas J. Lipton Company who liked his idea of creating a two-week players tournament.
A sponsorship agreement would eventually be reached for $1.5 million a year for five years and Lipton would own the title.
The "Winter Wimbledon," as it was first dubbed, would be the first major tournament of the year (the Australian Open was then held in December).
It was decided that the first tournament would be held at Laver's International Tennis Resort in Delray Beach, 50 miles north of Miami.
The following year, the tournament relocated to Boca Raton followed by a move to its permanent home in Miami in 1987.
approached the ATP and Women's Tennis Association
and offered prize money, a percentage of the ticket sales and worldwide television rights.
In return he
wanted the rights to run the tournament for 15 years.
The associations agreed.
Buchholz brought in Alan Mills, tournament referee at Wimbledon, as head referee, and Ted Tinling, a well-known tennis fashion designer since the 1920s, as director of protocol.
announces at The French Open in May 1983 that plans are underway for a major two-week event for men and women players - the first ever event to feature both men and women in its inaugural year.
In 1998, Butch Buchholz
announced that Ericsson Mobile Phones acquired the title sponsorship of the tournament beginning in 2000.
In June 1999, Butch Buchholz
family will sell the tournament to IMG
to ensure its place in history.
Included in the announcement is a statement from Buchholz
that there would be no discernable difference in the way the tournament is run.