With an eye toward growing the game and enhancing the sport at every level, the USTA is planning to build a new 100-plus-court facility (artist rendering shown above) in Orlando, Fla.
By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com
American tennis will soon have a new home. The USTA is planning to build a state-of-the-art facility in Orlando, Fla., with the goal of enhancing the sport at every level and creating an unparalleled playing, training and educational experience for players, coaches and spectators.
The innovative new facility will feature 100-plus courts (a mix of hard and clay) and will house the USTA’s Community Tennis and Player Development divisions. It will be divided into dedicated areas (see bulleted items below for more) that will focus on the complete tennis pathway – from the youngest players to recreational competitors of all ages and ability levels, and from collegians to future pros and professional tour-level players.
The target completion date for the facility is the fourth quarter of 2016.
“This new home for American tennis will truly be a game-changer for our sport,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman, CEO and President. “This world-class facility will be an inclusive gathering place for American tennis and will allow us to impact our sport at every level, from the grass roots to the professional ranks.”
The complex, to be built in the Lake Nona section of Orlando, will be located on 63 acres of land, providing space to host a range of tennis events – from youth tennis team events to national championships for those ages 90 and over. The USTA is partnering with Lake Nona Land Company, one of the nation’s leading developers, and a consortium of regional and state partners to construct the facility.
"Today’s announcement is wonderful news for families in Orlando. [The] USTA’s expansion and creation of 154 new jobs will make Florida one of the top states for tennis in the nation, and this state-of-the-art facility will be the USTA’s first year-round outdoor facility," said Florida Governor Rick Scott. "This new division headquarters will allow Floridians of all ages and skill set the opportunity to try their hand at tennis.”
Once the project is completed, USTA Player Development will move its headquarters from Boca Raton, Fla., to Orlando. The USTA’s Community Tennis division will also relocate to Orlando from the association’s national headquarters in White Plains, N.Y.
“This landmark event is a big step for us in USTA Player Development as we strive to work with coaches across the country to develop our juniors into world-class American players,” said Patrick McEnroe, USTA Player Development General Manager. “We’re very excited for the new facility and everything it means for Team USA.”
The divisions for the facility will include:
- A tournament and league area that will include 24 clay courts, 16 hard courts and two player pavilions. This area will also feature a tournament administration office that will include trainer rooms, a stringer area, player lounge, public restrooms and a check-in area.
- A collegiate tennis area that will feature 12 hard courts and one future tournament show court, allowing two collegiate matches to be played simultaneously. The courts will be equipped for television and have seating for 1,200 people, and the area will feature a two-story pavilion for concessions, public restrooms, team locker rooms and areas for trainers and officials. This area will serve as the home of the University of Central Florida men’s and women’s varsity tennis programs.
- A Team USA area that will include 12 hard courts. The courts will be utilized by the 17 USTA sections, along with coaches and their players throughout the country, to work collaboratively with USTA Player Development.
- A high performance and player development area that will include eight hard courts and eight red clay courts for USTA Player Development, with plans for six covered courts in the future. The space includes dorms that can house 32 boys and girls as well as a strength and conditioning space.
- Eight 36-foot and eight 60-foot courts that will enable youth and adults to develop their games.
- A USTA office building. The ground floor will include a tennis pro shop, fitness area, locker rooms, player lounge and cafeteria, with USTA offices occupying the second floor.
Once completed, the facility will stand among the finest in the world, serving as center for education and innovation to grow the game at all levels in the years to come.
“Our goal is simple: to continue to raise the bar for our sport,” said Gordon Smith, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Our new facility in Orlando will help ensure we develop the next generation of players, coaches, tennis providers, officials and volunteers.”