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How much is John McEnroe getting paid to come to the 2011 N.C. Azalea Festival?

Powell Latimer
John McEnroe

Tennis legend John McEnroe will play April 10, 2011, in Wilmington for the N.C. Azalea Festival Tennis Challenge. (Photo courtesy of the N.C. Azalea Festival)

John McEnroe will get $50,000 for playing in the N.C. Azalea Festival exhibition match against ATP World Tour player Todd Martin, according to Lenny Simpson, former Wilmington resident who set up the match.

That price is actually cheap for someone of McEnroe’s stature. The tennis great came at a discount because of his relationship with Simpson and his support for the charitable cause of enhancing tennis facilities at the Althea Gibson Tennis Complex at Empie Park in Wilmington.

The $50,000 for McEnroe is coming from several places, Simpson said: sponsorships from the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association; the Wilmington Azalea festival; and individual sponsors. In addition, any funds previously donated to the GWTA with the intent to go toward renovating the Althea Gibson Tennis Center are included in that pot.

Revenue from the match will go toward completing the second phase of the center, which includes a finished center court, a lifestyle skills facility, a computer lab, a building to house the center’s after-school care program and six more clay courts, according to Simpson.

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5 Responses to “ How much is John McEnroe getting paid to come to the 2011 N.C. Azalea Festival?”

  1. On March 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm D. M. Scotts wrote:

    Wow. Glad he’s feeling charitable and only accepting 50K to come to town. Seeing McEnroe play in person is on my bucket list right above seeing Joey Gladstone do his impersonation of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

  2. On March 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm Lee wrote:

    I agree, $50,000 for someone that was a has-been 20 years ago is a bit much.

  3. On March 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm Brian wrote:

    Too bad that fifty grand didn’t go towards the funding of an arts council in town.

  4. On March 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm The Wilmington Watcher wrote:

    $50K is a deal for someone of his stature? Are you kidding?! This isn’t 1977 – $50K is probably the biggest payoff he’s had in 20 years. How’s he going to play tennis anyway in a Hoveround? Or will he be using a walker? Either way, the adult diapers will make lunging backhand returns a little difficult…

  5. On March 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm justin wrote:

    According to his publicist and the website allamericanspeakers.com, McEnroe regularly receives $50K for speaking and performance engagements. Neither a deal or a bargain.

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