Fashion, food and fast-paced action are on the cards for the upcoming ASB Classic, which celebrated its launch this evening.
Organisers are promising a huge year for the annual event in January, which has attracted a number of top tennis stars including the Williams sisters, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic as well as a handful the last three Men's Champions Roberto Bautista-Agut, David Ferrer and John Isner.
Next year will be the second time that the tournament has been grouped under the collective ASB Classic banner after ASB took over as naming sponsor for the men's Heineken Open.
The Classic is on a four-year growth streak that has seen sponsorship almost double and ticketing revenue soar since it began.
Event director Karl Budge said the 2017 year could be the biggest yet and demand for tickets had been unprecedented.
"The ASB Classic has almost become the summer social outing," Budge said. "With the world-class line-up of players, some of the biggest names in fashion, food and music all from just $15 it is no surprise it is the place to be over January."
The event's entertainment area The Serve is doubling in size for the upcoming tournament, and would feature entertainment from the likes of Kings, Laughton Kora, Boh Runga, Isaac Aesili of Latin Aotearoa, Nathan Haines Band and Shapeshifter side project Peacekeepers.
A Kapiti store and wine bar would be added to the food and drink on offer, alongside the usual offerings from Nic Watt of Masu and True Food & Yoga, Sean Connolly of The Grill and Gusto at The Grand and Peter Gordon of The Sugar Club.
ASB executive general manager of marketing and communications Roger Beaumont said the event would feature the most exciting line up of players that the Classic had ever seen.
"Paired with top-class entertainment away from the court, there really is nothing like the fun and intimate environment the ASB Classic provides," Beaumont said.
"The tournament continues to go from strength to strength, and ASB is very proud to support these two weeks of outstanding tennis."
The Heineken Baseline Bar would also be returning alongside the Moët & Chandon Champagne Lounge, which has introduced a new Moët 'The Now Hour' each Friday to celebrate the women's and men's semi-finals.
Tennis-goers would also be in with a chance to win a bespoke Naveya & Sloane ring designed specifically for the tournament.
According to Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) the 2015 event generated $1.9 million for Auckland regional GDP, with more than 49,000 attendees and 14,000 visitor nights, against a forecast of $1.26 million, 28,000 attendees and 10,000 visitor nights.
Visitors to Auckland have increased over the years, with Kiwis visiting the city specifically for the tournament growing from 4626 in 2013 to 5830 in 2015 and international visitors increasing from 476 to 530 in the same period.
The 'Ladies that Lunch' event would also be returning next year with Juliette Hogan and Kathryn Wilson teaming up for a three-course degustation lunch.
ASB Classic (men's and women's) facts & figures:
• Multi-million dollar tournament to put on
• Brought in $1.887 million for the Auckland region in 2015
• ATEED investment of $175,000 last year
• 60 per cent of sales done before players announced
• Corporate hospitality sold out within a week of being on the market in 2016
• Ticket sales have doubled in the last four years
• Sponsorship has increased around 180% in the last few years
• Catering increased from $1 million in 2013 to an expected $2.5 million in 2016
• International broadcasting rights almost quadrupled in the last few years
• Around 140 players in the ASB Classic in 2016
• Prize money increased around 5% each year
• US$250,000 for women's and US$460,000 to US$470,000 for men's