The American Tennis Association has settled on Miramar for its first permanent home.
The nation’s oldest black amateur tennis association signed a 99-year lease with the city so it can build a $6.6 million tennis facility at Miramar Regional Park, next to the city’s amphitheater, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The project will have a 3,000-seat center-court stadium; 20 tennis courts, a clubhouse with locker rooms, treatment areas and a fitness center; a 20,000-square-foot Black Tennis Hall of Fame and a $13 million, 125-room hotel for athletes to stay during tournaments.
Groundbreaking on the complex could be several years away, as the tennis association raises funds and secures the proper permits. It’s located next to the recently built amphitheater, which opened in July.
Tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams pledged to donate $1 million to the project. The sisters both live in South Florida, as does Sloane Stephens, who is ranked No. 16 in women’s tennis worldwide.
The move calls for a push to get more local minorities interested in tennis. The ATA will manage its facility and offer free programs for the city’s youth to introduce them to the sport, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The association originally had its sights set on Fort Lauderdale and Lauderhill, but the locations did not have enough land for the proposed project.
South Florida has attracted professional tennis players from around the world with its tennis facilities. The Miami Open recently signed paperwork with the Miami mayor’s office to move from Key Biscayne to Hard Rock Stadium – home of the Miami Dolphins. Before moving to Orlando last year, the Florida branch of the United States Tennis Association headquarters was in Miami Shores and then Daytona Beach. [Sun Sentinel] – Amanda Rabines