BCA Revamps 9-Ball Championships
New Look, Name, and Format Aim to Better Promote Sport
The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) announced it has enhanced its 9-ball championship event for 2008. The name of the event has also been changed to the “GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships.” GenerationPool.com is the new BCA consumer website slated for launch in early 2008.
For the first time, the 2008 GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships will be held in conjunction with the International Billiard Home Recreation Expo, June 12-14, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The tournament’s semifinals and finals events will take place June 11-12 in the Grand Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center.
“We wanted to produce a standout event and we knew that we would need to change the look and feel of our tournament to achieve this goal,” said BCA President Ivan Lee. “We will be changing the arena, the format, the production techniques, and the environment of the tournament in order to highlight the professional level of play that will be taking place. The players will be treated to a first-class event in an upscale playing environment.”
Further, ESPN is committing more time to showing the GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships on ESPN and ESPN2 in 2008. After speaking with ESPN about the innovative changes developed for the tournament, they were thrilled to add two additional hours of programming for the event, meaning the event will air for a minimum of six hours. These additional hours of airtime will add more than 30% of first-run coverage shown on television.
“ESPN is pleased to cover three hours from both the men’s and women’s GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championship events in 2008,” said Nick Dawson, associate program manager for ESPN. “The event is one of the marquee billiard events in the world each year and the added hours will allow viewers the opportunity to enjoy both semifinals and the championship from each division, along with additional tournament competition.”
The arena will include reserved VIP seating, inclusive of upscale leather chairs, cocktail tables, and stadium seating, creating the ultimate viewing environment. The event will also feature a VIP hospitality area with all-inclusive food and beverage service, early access to the arena, and a high-end hospitality area. The new championships will provide a visual backdrop for television that promotes the game in a first-class, appealing format.
The 2008 event will continue to feature a men’s and women’s division. Both divisions will begin with 32 players on Monday. The semifinals that will take place the evening of Wednesday, June 11, and Thursday, June 12, will consist of the men’s and women’s finals. Both events will begin with a VIP reception.
In an effort to keep the linearity of the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) tour, the women’s event will begin with 64 players June 6-7 at Smokin’ Cue, which is located at 10901 University City Blvd. in Charlotte. Once narrowed to 32 players, the event will move to the Charlotte Convention Center.
“The WPBA fully understands and supports our desire to redefine our event,” said Lee. “But they requested that we allow them to keep the field size from years past. Faced with our constraints in time and location, we worked cooperatively with the WPBA to arrange an off-site start for the women’s side of the event so that they can deliver 32 players to the start of the event on Sunday night. The willingness of the WPBA to work with the BCA to resolve this issue illustrates a new spirit of cooperation in our industry.”
Tickets for the GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships can be purchased by phone beginning March 31, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. EST. Information on ticket prices and the phone number to order tickets will be announced in March.
The BCA will also be inducting its fifty-second member into the BCA Hall of Fame during the intermission between the men’s and women’s GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships final matches on Thursday, June 12. This exclusive ceremony will take place in the main arena and will continue the long tradition of recognizing and paying tribute to the world’s greatest billiard players and contributors.
“Hosting the 2008 BCA Expo, the new GenerationPool.com 9-Ball Championships, and the BCA Hall of Fame induction ceremony all in close proximity will allow many facets of the industry the opportunity to reconnect with each other.” said Lee. “The week will truly be a celebration of billiards.”