Halifax on the hunt for Davis Cup, city seen as ‘prime location’

Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - Halifax has more than love for the Davis Cup.

Members of the Czech national tennis team celebrate after they won the Davis Cup Finals in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013. The Czech Republic defeated Serbia at the 2013 Davis Cup Finals with an overall score of 3-2. 

The municipality’s audit and finance standing committee has approved an event grant of $65,000 to help fund the international men’s tennis competition.

The funding is conditional on Halifax being chosen as a host city by Tennis Canada and the province matching the amount.

“I think it’s safe to say Tennis Canada wants this to come to Halifax,” said Coun. Barry Dalrymple. “I think they see us as a prime location.”

A staff report recommended a grant of $50,000, however committee members felt the exposure that would result from the event justified the increase.

As the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, the Davis Cup offers a lot of national and international television exposure.

The event estimates the 2014 event will be attended by 10,000 people, generating 1000 room nights. An economic impact analysis suggests a nearly $800,000 net increase in economic activity in the province as a result of the initial expenditures of the event.

Mayor Mike Savage said the September event dovetails with impressive performances from young Canadian stars.

“Over the next couple of months, you’re going to be hearing a lot about Canadian tennis players,” said Savage, pointing to Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic advancing in the French Open this month. “There is a lot of momentum here around tennis.”

Councillors also suggested hosting the event could lead to an increase in local kids wanting to get involved in the sport.

“If this motivates and leads a young generation of our kids to get involved in tennis, that would be a great thing,” said Dalrymple. “I think this is a great investment for what we will get in return.”

The committee also dealt with a request to grant We Day Atlantic Canada $50,000. As We Day happens in November, the committee pushed the issue to a future meeting.

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