Birmingham gets the Fed Cup

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Fed Cup, women's version of the Davis Cup, will come to Birmingham in April.  

The big announcement was made Tuesday.  The Fed Cup is the world's largest annual team competition in women's sports. Birmingham beat out much larger cities like Chicago, Vegas and St. Louis to get the event.

"Birmingham continues to rise as a city who can host world class events," said Mayor William Bell during the big announcement.  Bell said the city is ready to provide the support and help necessary to make the semifinals of the 2010 Fed Cup a big success, much like last year's Davis Cup, which was also held in Birmingham.

Jeff Ryan with the U.S. Tennis Association said the choice to pick Birmingham was an easy one.

"What happened last year in general, the support we felt during the Davis Cup set records," Ryan said.

Gene Hallman with the Alabama Sports Foundation said Birmingham needs to get excited.

"If you can't get excited about competing with the great country of Russia, something's wrong," Hallman said. "I mean, we want to beat the Russians!"

Team USA will bring many great athletes. Organizers hope that will include two famous sisters, Venus & Serena Williams.  

"We're going to go actively and do what we can to recruit the Williams sisters here to Birmingham," Hallman said.
 
Bill "Bubba" Bussey, a tennis enthusiast and local radio talk show host, said bringing the Williams sisters would attract thousands.  

"I just so happened to make friends with a guy named 'Common' at the U.S. Open, that's Serena's boyfriend, and I'm going to be calling him saying can we get you to the 'Ham?"

With the Indy cars racing at Barbers Motorsports Park in early April and the Fed Cup in late April, Hallman said big time sporting events could become a cornerstone for Birmingham for years to come.  

"Our vision is to make this region known as a great host of a wide variety of sporting events," Hallman said.

Tickets for the Fed Cup go on sale the week of March 8th.