US Pro Squash, a fledgling “tour” of tournaments that is the brainchild of Joe McManus—who has worked as a political consultant and executive director of the American Diabetes Association—is looking to capitalize on the demographics of squash with an aim toward hosting smaller world-class tournaments. Rather than seeking large-scale glass court events, McManus is focusing on smaller venues with limited ticket availability.
Last fall, the tour kicked off with the Cross Courts Invitational, featuring just eight men from around the world, but all with national championship credentials. Included in that event were David Palmer, John White and Julian Illingworth. At the Cross Courts, just 84 tickets were available each night, for $120 each—with the worst seat in the house just 13 feet from the back wall.
The next stop on the tour, the Westchester Invitational, was about to begin at the Westchester Country Club when this edition of Squash Magazine went to press (scheduled for Mar. 1-4). The likes of Palmer, Nick Matthew, Thierry Lincou and Wael El Hindi were expected to compete.
McManus likes this unique event format. “Everyone understands an international rivalry. Also, it is a special experience because of the intimate nature of the event. Every fan is invited to a post match reception with the players. Every ticket is a premium ticket with personal access to the players.”
Also of note, amateur player clinics are tied in with the pro tournament. This represents a rare opportunity for local youth players to get on court with the world’s best squash players.
For more information about the Westchester Invitational and upcoming events, please visit www.prosquashtour.org.