Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ganim to step down as UnitedHealthCare US Open Executive Director

Doug Ganim announced Monday that he will be retiring as the Executive Director of the UnitedHealthCare US Open, the largest racquetball tournament in the world, following the 2020 US Open. This was not unexpected, as there was a strong rumour at last year’s US Open that Ganim was planning retirement.

The US Open began in 1996 in Memphis, and ran there until 2007 with the Memphis Racquet Club as the main facility. In 2008, the US Open was moved to Minneapolis, where it has been ever since with the Life Time Fitness - Target Centre club as the main facility.

We understand that planning the US Open is very large undertaking, and it will be difficult to replace Ganim, who carries much of the burden in that planning. Indeed, it may be impossible to replace him, and that may result in a re-imagining of the event after Ganim steps down.

We don’t how much money USA Racquetball, which owns the US Open, makes from the event. A cost-benefit analysis will likely need to be done in making plans for what to do after 2020. It could be that the benefits are not worth the costs to make the event happen.

Ganim’s announcement comes early so that people have “enough notice to make sure [they can] plan in advance to attend in 2019 and 2020.” He plans to go out with a bang and wants you to be a part of it. The Racquetball Blog has been at every US Open since we began and our people were at several before that, so we know first hand how great the US Open is.

Also, the US Open is the only true annual Grand Slam event in racquetball. That is, the only annually held racquetball event that has both the men’s and women’s pro tours - the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), respectively - participating. That’s a special thing, and if there is no Grand Slam event after 2020, it would create a large hole in the racquetball community.

We look forward to attending both the 2019 and 2020 UnitedHealthCare US Opens, and wish Ganim the best with planning them, as well as in his plans for after 2020.

Follow the bouncing ball….

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