USA TABLE TENNIS - US OPEN RETURNS TO GRAND RAPIDS FOR THIRD TIME, JULY 1-5 AT DEVOS PLACE

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:       Katy Tigchelaar – (616) 233-3564, ktigchelaar@westmisports.com

                        Kim Skeltis – (616) 419-8385, kim@blueblazepr.com

 

                                         

USA TABLE TENNIS - US OPEN RETURNS TO GRAND RAPIDS FOR THIRD TIME,

JULY 1-5 AT DEVOS PLACE

 

Tickets on Sale for Largest Table Tennis Competition in North America

Starring Some of the Youngest U.S. Athletes to Attend a US Open 

 

Grand Rapids, Mich., June 18, 2014 – Call it a three-peat in the world of table tennis – In 2010, 2012 and now 2014, Grand Rapids hosts the USA Table Tennis (USATT) US Open – the largest table tennis competition in North America. The event comes to West Michigan July 1-5 at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

 

“We’re honored to host USA Table Tennis a third year for its largest U.S. competition, and we encourage the community to come out over the five days to enjoy this fun, fast-paced spectator sport,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission who is hosting the event with a local organizing committee led by Table Tennis Hall of Famers Dell and Connie Sweeris. “It’s a compliment to our city that USATT returns year after year to experience our region’s warm hospitality and quality venues.”

 

Tournament Brings Top U.S. and International Athletes plus Economic Impact

As the largest table tennis competition in North America, the USATT 2014 US Open features 700 of the top-rated domestic and international male and female athletes playing over a five-day period – including some of the youngest players ever to compete at this level. Participants from 21 countries compete in 86 event divisions on 100 tables for prize money of $65,000.

 

Among the 2014 U.S. table tennis athletes to watch include a handful of young players who not only are qualifiers but are competing as highly seeded players in the tournament, including:

  • Kanak Jha – 13-year-old member of the 2014 Men’s World Championship team; member of the 2013 US Junior, Cadet, and Mini Cadet teams; and USATT Athlete of the Month in April
  • Lily Zhang – 17-year-old 2012 U.S. Olympian who just returned from a top performance with the 2014 World Championship team and was a USATT Athlete of the Month in May; she will be going to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games
  • Crystal Wang – 12-year-old member of the 2014 Women’s World Championship team, member of the Cadet and Mini-Cadet Girls' teams, and going to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games
  • Prachi Jha – 17-year-old sister to Kanak Jha, member of the 2014 Women’s World Championship team, 2013 US Women's Finalist & Junior Girls Champion, and USATT Athlete of the Month in April
  • Amy Wang – 11-year-old who defeated Table Tennis Hall of Famer Dell Sweeris at the age of 9

 

Additionally, two defending champions in the Men’s Division are returning in 2014: top-seeded Keinath Thomas from Slovakia who won the 2011 and 2009 US Open, and two-time US Open defending champion (2013 and 2012) and second-seed Zhen Wang from Canada, where he is the top-rated player.

 

“This is an incredible year not only to see some of the top table tennis athletes from around the country and the world, but some of the youngest stars in the sport,” said Sweeris. “You can get a ring-side seat to some table tennis talent that we’ll be watching for many years to come in this sport.”

 

In its third year in Grand Rapids, the event is expected to generate an estimated $750,000 in economic impact along with 1,500 hotel room nights booked, with 1,000 spectators expected to attend. The total economic impact of hosting the event in Grand Rapids for three years is estimated to be at approximately $2.25 million.

 

 

Ticket Information

Tickets are on sale for the 2014 USA Table Tennis US Open, which run July 1-5 at DeVos Place. Tickets are available at the DeVos Place box office and through Ticketmaster, either online (ticketmaster.com), by phone (800.745.3000), or at a Ticketmaster outlet.

 

Ticket prices are $10 for a daily pass, $20 for a semi-final and finals pass if purchased in advance ($25 at the door), and $25 for an all-session pass ($30 at the door). Children ages 12 and under receive free admission.

 

For tournament-related and Grand Rapids visitor information, visit westmisports.com/wmsc-events/usatt or usatt.org. Also follow live tournament-related news on social media at facebook.com/usatabletennis and #USATTUSOpen.

 

 

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About the West Michigan Sports Commission

The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked nearly 300 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 315,000 athletes and visitors, generating more than $100 million in direct visitor spending. Visit www.westmisports.com for more information.

 

About USA Table Tennis

USATT is the national governing body for table tennis in the United States. Created in 1933 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., its staff serves the 9,000-plus members and approximately 300 clubs affiliated with USATT. It oversees a wide variety of membership services, the national teams, rules of the game and numerous online instructional and historical articles. USATT is governed and run by the nine-member board of directors, committees and professional staff. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the world governing body for table tennis, as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

 

 

Media Contacts

West Michigan Sports Commission

Katy Tigchelaar

Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR

Meijer State Games of Michigan

Eric Engelbarts, II

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