Should I stay or should I go? Selecting a date for the Australian tennis open

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Journal Article
Managing Leisure, 2008, 13 (2), pp. 115 - 127
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In 2005, the Australian Tennis Open (Australian Open) celebrated its 100th year as Australia’s leading tennis event. Under the stewardship of the national governing body, Tennis Australia, this major event has experienced a number of organizational challenges over its history. A key challenge faced by Tennis Australia over the past three decades, has been the regular withdrawal of highly ranked tennis players from the tournament year after year. The difficulties faced by Tennis Australia in attracting all of the top men’s and women’s players each year to the Australian Open prompted the organizers to discuss the option of moving the event to a time more suitable for the players. In 2004, Tennis Australia outlined the possible movement of the Australian Open from the traditional starting time in January to a later start in March. However, after considerable consultation Tennis Australia decided that a move to the later period in the year was not feasible. This paper drawing on a processual analytical framework, inspired by the work of Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning, examines the organizational dynamics that developed and changed over time leading up to the final decision made by Tennis Australia. The study highlights the interconnected and interdependent power relations that were cultivated over time by those stakeholders involved in the Australian Open. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
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