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AEG Buys Carson Event

The JPMorgan Chase Open in Carson has been sold to the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) by IMG, the management firm.

Sources said the sale price was approximately $4.5 million for the Tier II event, the designation given to a tournament with a minimum prize money of $585,000. Dates for the tournament this year are July 19-25.

The tournament was played at the Home Depot Center in Carson for the first time last year, having moved from nearby Manhattan Beach, but the change in ownership will present an increased opportunity for marketing, officials said.

Shawn Hunter of AEG said that the company will be able to use its database from the season-ending WTA Championships at Staples Center as well as the list of ticket buyers from the JPMorgan event, going back to the days when it was held at the Manhattan Country Club in Manhattan Beach.

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“We were landlord only [before the sale]. We had nothing to do with marketing,” said Hunter.

“You’ll see us triple the advertising from last year and continue what we’ve been doing -- grass roots with the clubs, high schools and the different leagues that are out there.”

Said Stephanie Tolleson, senior vice president and head of women’s tennis at IMG:

“It’s a win-win for tennis. IMG made a good business decision, and AEG will have the franchise at its own new Carson facility.”

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