Conn. tennis tournament makes changes to stadium

The New Haven Open is closing the upper bowl at the Connecticut

Tennis Center for this year’s tournament amid dwindling attendance

numbers.

Tournament directory Anne Worcester says the idea is to create a

more intimate atmosphere and make the stadium seem less empty than

in has in recent years.

She says she hopes fewer available tickets will result in more

advanced sales.

About 53,000 fans attended last year’s tournament, down from

crowds that once hovered close to 90,000 to see the final

hard-court event before the U.S. Open.

The WTA tournament – which begins Sunday and runs through the

week – is in its final year of a three-year deal with its major

sponsors, including Yale.

This year’s event features four of the top-10 players in the

world.