When you have a big tennis venue, it’s only fitting that it opens in a big way. Therefore, when the USTA’s “new home of America tennis” officially opened in Lake Nona (in Orlando, Florida) this month, it had a big ‘first serve,’ with fanfare, dignitaries and national coverage.
The new National Campus is one of the largest tennis facilities in the world. It is located on 64 acres and divided into dedicated areas that will focus on the complete tennis pathway. The cutting-edge center will feature a total of 100 courts (32 Plexicusion hard courts, 32 Har-Tru green clay courts, 16 Sport Courts, eight DecoTurf acrylic cushion courts, six European Terre Davis red clay and six ReBound Ace indoor courts) along with two stadium courts. The campus is divided into the following areas:
- The adidas Performance Center: home to USTA Player Development
- Team USA / Tournament Headquarters / League Area: in addition to hosting tournaments and league championships, will be used by the 17 USTA sections
- Nemours Family Zone (this area has 36- and 60-foot courts)
- Collegiate Area: Home of of the University of Central Florida men’s and women’s varsity tennis programs, this area also will host a variety of other college tennis events and championships. In fact, more than 300 college dual matches will be played on campus, highlighted by a “College MatchDay” series.
The innovation does not stop at courts, however. The campus has an in-house TV network allowing for messaging and programming to be seen throughout the campus. All 84 tournament courts will feature live streaming and Wi-Fi will be available throughout the campus (which also becomes headquarters for USTA staff)
The facility will be home to the national training center for USTA-certified officials – the site will be used to develop innovative methods for teaching, evaluating and certifying officials.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of the new National Campus is it is open to the public and will not require membership – something totally in line with USTA’s commitment to community tennis. Lessons and local programming will be offered.
More than 100 competitive events have already been planned for the facility in 2017. Count on that number to increase.