What is the Davis Cup?
While some people may stereotype tennis as a boring or quiet sport, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone bored at this weekend’s Davis Cup.
This year, the international event has chosen downtown Austin’s Frank Erwin Center as one of the locations for its quarter finals.
Thousands of patriotic fans are expected to pack the center and the city to cheer on either the USA or Spain. The best part for those fans? They don’t have to be quiet.
Tennis tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open require spectators to be quiet while the players are on the court, but during the Davis Cup, just the opposite is true! Crowds are allowed to cheer, whoop, and holler, making the atmosphere a lively one.
The Davis Cup dates back to 1899, when four Harvard University tennis team players wished to set up a match between the USA and Great Britain. According to the Davis Cup's website, “once the two respective national associations had agreed, one of the four players, Dwight Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered a trophy, buying it with his own money.” The first Davis Cup “rubber,” or match, took place the next year, although it would be 1981 before the current format for the competition would be introduced.
Today, the event is often compared to the Olympics since countries, rather than individuals, compete for the coveted trophy.
For Austin and the state of Texas, the Davis Cup is expected to bring in about $5 million to the economy. For comparison’s sake, Beth Krauss, the media relations manager for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, says that amount is comparable to the money brought in from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show held this past February and attended by 3,000 people.
Krauss says that events like the Davis Cup add a lot of prestige to Austin as an international destination and sports destination.
The Davis Cup runs from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10.
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