Like many of our listeners, I was surprised to hear that Wimbledon's All England Club has taken to putting what it considers more attractive women players on its prestigious center court, regardless of ranking. I don't get it. Even if you can get past the idea of making such a selection based on appearance, it doesn't seem to make sense on a financial level. As we heard from the Editor of Tennis magazine, Wimbledon doesn't sell a greater number of tickets to matches involving players considered beautiful. Television ratings don't appear to be the reason, either. So what's behind the scheduling? Is it just assumed that the more attention good looking women players get, the better it is for the future of tennis?
One of our callers said he was a member of the pro volleyball tour. He claimed their circuit also highlighted more attractive players. However, in that case, the volleyball tour is a for-profit business. Perhaps the tour has found that it sells more tickets throughout the year by putting certain players front-and-center. Though it certainly has the potential to distract from matches, by putting the focus on good looking players, it doesn't hit me as strongly as Wimbledon's actions. I'll be very interested to see the fallout from this.
Tomorrow, we'll look at how local art museums are faring in this economy. MOCA has had some good news to report, but the Long Beach museum is struggling. The Orange County Museum of Art recently sold several works from its collection and received criticism from other art museums in the process. We'll get a sense of how these and other visual art institutions are doing.