Next month's International Masters Squash Open in Orlando will be the latest tournament to utilise an all-glass squash court, the World Squash Federation (WSF) has announced.
The event, due to take place from September 12 to 19 at the brand new Orlando Eye at i-Drive 360, a $250,000 (£162,000/€223,000) entertainment facility in the city, will see players compete in nine age categories and three ability categories for men’s and women’s singles.
Doubles competition at the tournament in Florida, expected to attract players from 16 different countries, which will be comprised of five categories.
WSF claim the all-glass courts allow for better spectator access, with the one in Orlando set to be a portable facility which can be put up anywhere.
This allows for fans to not just get an enhanced view of the action but also for competitions to take place among a backdrop of a city rather than a traditional sporting venue, WSF claim.
The world governing body's President N Ramachandran claimed the all-glass courts are another way of showing squash’s innovation as it bids to become part of the Olympic programme at Tokyo 2020.
“Glass courts have revolutionised the presentation of our events to the point that we are no longer limited to conventional squash facilities as we were in the past,” he said.
“One of the first such presentations, with the court alongside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, made headline news around the world - since when we have seen glass courts in the main square in Seoul in South Korea; overlooking the waterfront in Hong Kong by the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco; and on the Bund waterfront in Shanghai - all spectacular settings.
“Furthermore, there is a large array of inside options from arenas to other exciting sites.
“We have taken squash into Frankfurt airport, New York’s Grand Central Terminal as well as some of world’s biggest shopping malls.
“There are various iconic locations in Tokyo where television and still images of a state-of-the-art all-glass court showcasing the Japan capital would be seen around the globe should squash join the 2020 Olympic Games programme.
“Whether courts are located inside or out, innovations such as sidewall entry that enhances broadcast still further, LED out-of-court lines, cool air ducting, SquashTV production and general presentation, have ensured that squash can now be considered a mainstream media sport.”
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