Web Exclusive - October 2015
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Tennis Facilities Recognized

According to the Tennis Industry Association, there is a growing interest in playing tennis among Americans. The 2014 TIA Tennis Participation Study, derived from the annual Physical Activity Council Participation Report, revealed a big jump in the number of people who are interested in playing tennis, and total participation is on the rise as well.

In light of increasing participation, some communities have taken the ball, so to speak, and are creating outstanding facilities for their citizens to engage in the sport. And this summer, the U.S. Tennis Association recognized a number of new or renovated facilities in its 34th annual Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the construction or renovation of tennis facilities nationwide.

The big winner in 2015? The City of Phoenix's Tennis Center. Originally built in 1969, the Tennis Center saw the completion of a two-year renovation project in January 2015. The project included installation of 25 new state-of-the-art post tension courts, new lighting, shade canopies, fencing and landscaping, and bleacher seating. Boosting the project's sustainability, old tennis courts were ground up and used as subgrade for the new courts. Throughout the construction process, a minimum of 12 courts were kept open and playable, reducing the impact on users.

"The renovated Phoenix Tennis Center is a win for our entire city," said Vice Mayor Daniel T. Valenzuela. "I want to commend the members of the tennis community and city staff who worked together to transform the center into what it is today. The renovation has put the center back on the national map as a world-class tournament facility."

To be considered for the USTA award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation department, an educational institution, a nonprofit corporation, or be a private or commercially owned and operated facility that offers both USTA and public programming designed to help grow the sport. Facilities are judged on overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food service and social areas; and the facilities' participation in USTA programs.

The renovation of the Phoenix Tennis Center had a big impact on the local tennis community, according to Parks and Recreation Board Chairperson Robert Peck. "Players like the new courts and have told the staff that the lighting is the best in the Valley," he said. "Upgrades and amenities like that make the facility attractive to tournament organizers and bring in players from around the country."

Nominated facilities were voted on in several categories: Public Courts that are either small tennis centers with two to 10 courts or large centers with 11 or more courts; Educational Institutions; and Private Facilities that support the USTA and other "growth of the game" programs open to the public. Phoenix Tennis Center earned an award for Public Court, Large Tennis Center.

Other winners include:

Public Courts, Large Tennis Centers

  • Phoenix Tennis Center, Phoenix
  • Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center, Minneapolis
  • Princeton Racquet Club, Princeton, N.J.
  • Chandler Tennis Center, Chandler, Ariz.
  • Southside Tennis Complex, Jacksonville, Fla.

Public Courts, Small Tennis Centers

  • Deer Creek Courts, Highland Park, Ill.

Educational Institution

  • McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium, Albuquerque, N.M.

Private Facilities

  • Horseshoe Bend Country Club, Roswell, Ga.
  • Moss Creek Tennis Center, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
  • The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • West Winds Tennis Center, New Market, Md.
  • Trump National Golf Club, Potomac Falls, Va.
  • Cherokee Town and Country, Atlanta