Equal prize money split in $330,000 fund
By ALAN THATCHER
The Allam British Open, the oldest and most established professional squash tournament in the world, will have a new home from 2019 after an agreement was reached today that will see the iconic event take place in its entirety in a brand new sports complex at the University of Hull between 20-26 May, 2019.
The brand new state-of-the-art facility, designed to attract world-class athletes and events to the city, will open in full in April 2019 with the Allam British Open becoming the first major international sporting event to call the facilities home.
An all-glass court, complete with spectator seating, will be erected solely for the tournament and will see the University, which has been host to qualification and first round matches for the past five years, expand its support of the prestigious tournament.
Thousands of fans from all over the world will descend on Hull to witness the action unfold at the glass court arena in what will be the final major Platinum level tournament of the 2018-19 PSA World Tour season.
Millions more will be able to follow the prestigious event through television, digital broadcasts and social media – with the 2018 edition of the Allam British Open reaching more than 10 million people, consuming close to ten million minutes of content, across social media platforms alone.
The 2019 Allam British Open also sees Dr. Assem Allam reconfirm his commitment to helping grow squash in the region with a renewed title sponsorship deal, with the event offering a $330,000 prize fund split equally between men and women, with both draws set to attract almost 100 of the world’s best squash players to the city.
Joining Dr. Allam in supporting the event are England Squash, the Professional Squash Association and the University of Hull, with the 2019 edition of the tournament marking what is expected to be a long term collaboration between the four parties aimed at developing and aligning both the professional and community squash programs in the Hull region.
Steve Curtis, Partnership and Project Manager for Sport at the University of Hull, said: “Over the past five years we have enjoyed working with all parties involved with the Allam British Open and have experienced great interest in the early rounds which have been played here in recent years.
“We are a university which is passionate about sport and to bring the entire event, including the spectacular all-glass court, under one roof is something that we are tremendously excited by and we look forward to delivering a world-class event in May 2019. We hope the event can inspire the region to pick up a racket and give squash a go. We will be working in local schools to provide opportunities to try squash and to attend the championships on campus.”
Speaking after a meeting of all key stakeholders in Hull today, title sponsor Dr Assem Allam said: “I am very happy to continue to support the Allam British Open and extend my backing of this great tournament. The British Open is a ‘national treasure’ and it is fantastic that we are continuing to build on the legacy of staging the event completely at the new sport development on the University of Hull campus and continuing to inspire new generations to become involved with the sport in the region.
“I hope that we can attract many young students to discover squash for the first time in 2019 and look forward to working together with England Squash, the PSA and the University of Hull to develop the sport in the region in the years to come.”
Keir Worth, Chief Executive of England Squash said: “We are thrilled that Dr Allam is continuing his exceptional support for squash and the Allam British Open and are excited to stage the event in what promises to be a world class facility.”
Alex Gough, PSA Chief Executive, added: “The Allam British Open is the oldest and one of the most iconic events in squash and Hull has proven to be a fitting home for the tournament during the past six years. For an event of this stature to have longevity and stability is a huge bonus for our players and our sport, and we look forward to working with all parties involved to help ensure the next edition delivers an exceptional experience at the University of Hull.”
Picture courtesy of PSA