U.S. Polo’s Premier Event to Air on NBC Sports Network
National Broadcast of the USPA Maserati 109th U.S. Open
Polo Championship® Final Highlights Sport’s Growth
For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. polo’s leading event is coming to national television. Exemplifying the sport’s recent growth and evolution into the mainstream, NBC Sports Network will broadcast the U.S. Polo Association (USPA) Maserati 109th U.S. Open Polo Championship® title match on Sunday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET, providing fans with an up-close look at American polo played at its pinnacle of skill and speed. In addition to the action, the broadcast will also include special features on and off the field, along with commentary that tells the unique story of polo and its current rise in this country. The airing is co-presented by the USPA, the sport’s national governing body, along with its official apparel brand, the U.S. Polo Assn.
American polo has seen a great deal of recent growth thanks to efforts from the USPA and its dedicated clubs, players, patrons, fans and sponsors. The USPA has roughly 290 polo clubs across the U.S. that provide learning and competition opportunities for players at every level, an increase of 20% since 2011. These clubs and their programs have helped generate a steady increase in participation, highlighted by a growth of nearly 1,000 USPA members over the last three years. Youth programs like USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic polo and junior polo are also responsible for the sport’s overall advancement in this country.
“The USPA U.S. Open Polo Championship is very much the Super Bowl of polo here in America, indicative of the growing interest and excitement the sport is generating across the nation,” said Peter Rizzo, CEO of the U.S. Polo Association. “We invite the public to tune into NBC Sports on April 28 to get a first-hand look at the country’s most prestigious polo match and learn more about the sport and the players and horses that make this such a special event.”
The USPA Maserati 109th U.S. Open Polo Championship® is currently underway in the sport’s national capital of Wellington, Fla., and will culminate with the tournament final on April 21. Capping off the U.S. “Triple Crown” of polo, featuring America’s top three polo eventsLive, the competition brings an exhilarating end to the high-goal professional season. Celebrating a deep-rooted American history, the USPA U.S. Open dates back to 1904 where it was first played at Meadowbrook Polo Club in Old Westbury, N.Y. It has been played at International Polo Club Palm Beach’s world class venue in Wellington since 2004.
“Polo has a storied history in this country and the sport has gained a lot of momentum recently thanks to the commitment of its ambassadors and players,” said Casey Stone, Senior Manager of Programming Acquisitions, NBC Sports Network. “We look forward to tapping into their passion and introducing our viewers to this growing sport during its premier annual event.”
The USPA Maserati 109th U.S. Open Polo Championship® is the country’s supreme high-goal tournament featuring four-man teams whose combined handicap equals 26 goals. A 10-goal rating is the highest individual classification for a polo player. Less than 100 players have reached the 10-goal mark since the USPA was established in 1890. Offering a glimpse of polo at its most elite level, this year’s tournament boasts eight competing 10-goal rated players including international phenom, Adolfo Cambiaso, often regarded as the best polo player in the sport’s history.
Playing against and alongside these 10-goal talents are some of the highest-rated professional American players, including U.S. polo’s biggest star and ambassador, Nic Roldan, along with Jeff Hall and Mike Azzaro. A six-time USPA U.S. Open winner and last year’s championship MVP, Azzaro is looking to help his Zacara team defend its 2012 title. In addition to top players, the tournament features some of the sport’s fastest horses, reaching speeds up to 35 miles per hour as thousands of fans pack the stands to catch the action.
For news, scores, schedules, tickets and more surrounding this year’s tournament and other exciting 2013 eventsLive, visit www.ipcscoreboard.com. For more information on polo in the U.S., or to get in on the action and schedule a lesson, visit www.uspolo.org.