By Renee Senzatimore
Badminton enthusiasts at Suffolk may be interested to hear that this July the 2014 Yonex Open Badminton Championships will be held on the Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood-notably the first tournament of its scale to ever be held on the East Coast.
The Yonex US Open, a tournament sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation, is open to anyone who is currently a member of US Badminton, an organization which is recognized, according to their website, as “the largest governing body for the sport of Badminton in the United States.”
This tournament was originally held in Orange County California for the past 18 years, but tournament officials stated that moving the tournament from California to Suffolk County Community College was an action motivated by the drive to broaden the appeal of Badminton.
While this event, which will last a total of 6 days, is taking place on the Brentwood Campus, it is an event geared more towards professional, rather than student players. The Yonex US Open is part of a series of eleven tournaments being launched by the Badminton World Federation that will showcase badminton players from various locations, including Bangkok, London, Taipei City, and of course, New York. Also, all of these individual tournaments are going to be broadcast together internationally for the first time by IMG Media.
In addition to the tournament gaining global exposure, local businesses in and surrounding Suffolk County are also going to have the opportunity to gain exposure, both on a local and global scale, through advertising opportunities that will be available through this tournament.
Players for the Yonex US Open Championships often come from many different parts of the globe. The champion of last year’s competition was a woman from Thailand named Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who also was the first woman from Thailand to ever win the Yonex US Open. She played alongside opponents from Japan, Vietnam, China, and Hong Kong, who came to represent their nations in this prestigious tournament.
The Yonex US Open will conduct tournament play in five different categories, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The total amount of price money that will be distributed during this event is $120,000.
The event will be held inside the 57,800 square foot Michael J. Grant Field House on the Brentwood Campus. This building opened in 2000 and can seat 4,800 spectators for exhibits and conventions, as well as 2,700 for sporting events, adding up to 7,500 that it can seat in total. It is the largest facility of its kind in Suffolk County, making it the ideal location to hold this event.
Tickets to attend this tournament will cost between $15 and $30 for adults, but the exact price will vary depending on the event. However, the entry fee for this tournament is considerably more pricey; the fee for one or two events being $120, and the fee for three events being $180.
“It sounds really cool,” said Billy Kalavanos, a student who has an interest in Badminton. “If I had the money, maybe I would go.”