The nation’s oldest black amateur tennis association has settled on a historically black neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale for its first permanent home, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The American Tennis Association plans on spending an estimated $6 million to build a training center in the Sistrunk Boulevard community; association officials will unveil renderings of the project Aug. 1 during the ATA’s national championship tournament in Fort Lauderdale.
The training center will have 13 tennis courts, including a 1,000-seat center-court stadium, plus offices and a Black Tennis Hall of Fame, according to a preliminary facility overview. ATA is aiming to have the complex finished by 2016, when it will celebrate its centennial.
A decision on the specific location isn’t expected until after the tournament, an ATA official told the newspaper; one site under consideration is along West Broward Boulevard near the Strayer University campus.
Tennis superstar Venus Williams is designing the interiors through her company, V*Starr, which is based in Jupiter. Williams, 33, and her equally famous sister, 31-year-old Serena Williams, both live in South Florida as does Sloane Stephens, 20, who is ranked No. 16 in women’s tennis worldwide.
“It’s fantastic that it has come full circle for me, being involved in the design as well as benefiting from the influence that the ATA has had over the years,” Venus Williams told the newspaper. [Sun-Sentinel] – Melanie Gray