Written by Chris Lewitzke
The United States Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic Section (USTA MAS) announced it will move its headquarters to Prince William County, and create a new home of Mid-Atlantic tennis in the community.
USTA Mid-Atlantic, with a mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, is pursuing development of a tennis complex to help support local players, pave the way for growth of the game and introduce the sport to the next generation of tennis players in the region.
The non-profit has land under contract located across from the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus on Freedom Center Boulevard. The ultimate vision of USTA MAS is to create a state-of-the art tennis complex and bring forth other amenities on the land to create a vibrant destination for sports and wellness. The organization expects to host USTA programs, tournaments, recreational and public tennis play and special events at the tennis complex.
“Our vision is that this tennis complex will not only be an incredible place to learn, play and celebrate tennis for people all across the Mid-Atlantic but also serve as a center for activity for the local community and make play accessible to all ages, backgrounds and abilities living nearby,” said Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro, CEO of USTA Mid-Atlantic. “We know that the lifelong sport of tennis enriches lives in many ways and as this complex comes to fruition our expectation is to invigorate the community and make it a physically, emotionally and socially healthier place to live.”
Tennis in the Mid-Atlantic continues to experience significant growth. In 2017, Mid-Atlantic had 1.1 million tennis players age six and older according to research by the Tennis Industry Association. The research found that tennis has been on the rise in the Mid-Atlantic growing 181,000 players since 2014 and participation has increased an average of 9.3 percent since 2012. In addition, the research indicated the Mid-Atlantic Section has one of the highest percentages of non-players interested in learning to play the game.
However, court infrastructure in neighboring counties has become limited. USTA Mid-Atlantic hopes to address the lack of places to play by increasing the inventory of courts to meet the needs of the growing tennis and local community.
“We’re delighted the United States Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic has chosen Prince William County to be the home of its brand new state-of-the-art recreation facility,” said Corey A. Stewart, Chairman, Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “This is a great opportunity, in that it provides not only a new tourism recreation destination for all our residents, but across the Greater Washington metropolitan area, as well as providing our region with educational and competitive sporting opportunities, while enhancing the wide-array of recreational pursuits already offered throughout Prince William County.”
“The Brentsville District is excited to welcome the USTA Mid-Atlantic to Prince William County,” said Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville District Supervisor, Prince William County Board of County Supervisors. “The addition of headquarters for the Mid-Atlantic tennis complex to Innovation Park is sure to spark the interest of the local community and visitors as Innovation Park grows and becomes more diverse.”
The USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis complex will be a marquee amenity for the growing Prince William County. The Prince William County Parks and Recreation model calculates that the complex will contribute an estimated $12.1 million annually in economic impact and the Prince William County Board of Supervisors has approved the maximum economic incentive to support USTA Mid-Atlantic coming to the county. With the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in close proximity, the tennis complex will be at the hub of a significant sports and entertainment district.
The Section aims to work with the county, George Mason University and other partners to enhance the Prince William County community through sports, wellness and other amenities that may be possible on the surrounding land.
“Our Science and Technology campus continues to expand and is a driving force within the county for drawing in dynamic businesses, diverse populations and exceptional talent,” said GMU President Angel Cabrera. “We are thrilled to have the USTA Mid-Atlantic join our community and know their tennis programming and eventual facility will be a welcomed amenity that will contribute to creating a thriving and vibrant place for all to enjoy.”
USTA Mid-Atlantic expects to close on the sale of the land in March 2018. To support bringing the tennis complex project to fruition, USTA Mid-Atlantic will seek additional partners, corporate entities and individuals aligned with their mission and shared values.
For more information about USTA Mid-Atlantic and playing tennis in the Mid-Atlantic, visit usta.com/midatlantic.
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