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World’s Largest Tennis Tournament Returns to Mobile in 2007 and 2008

October 31, 2005 10:17 AM
The USTA Southern Section has announced that the USA League Tennis Adult and Senior Division Southern Sectional Championship tournament has been awarded to the city of Mobile, AL for 2007 and 2008. Mobile last hosted this tournament in 1999-2000. The Mobile bid was selected over those submitted by groups from Baton Rouge, LA, Chattanooga, TN, Gwinnett County, GA, New Orleans, LA and Pelham, AL.

With over 200 teams and 2,000 players competing annually, the USA League Tennis Southern Sectional Championships is considered to be the “world’s largest tennis tournament.” The 2006 event will return for its second year in Charleston, SC before moving to Mobile in 2007.

Prior to moving to Charleston in 2005 the tournament had been held in Columbia, SC, Louisville, KY, Mobile, AL, Chattanooga, TN, New Orleans, LA, Little Rock, AR, Lexington, KY and Atlanta, GA.

“Each of the submitted bids was of such high quality and strength that our Sectional Championships Subcommittee was challenged from the beginning of the process,” said Dodie Hanchett, chairman of the sectional championships subcommittee. “This of course is considered a ‘good problem’ to have as the interest in hosting Southern Sectional Championships continues to grow each year.”

The event features state champion teams from each of the nine Southern states plus one wildcard team per level, totaling over 200 teams. Players range in skill level (2.5-5.5) and ages from 19-80 in adult and senior divisions with both men’s and women’s teams participating.

“The city of Mobile is very excited to host the 2007 and 2008 USTA League Tennis Adult/Senior Sectional Championships,” said Scott Novak, Mobile Tennis Center tournament director. “We consider this event to be the ‘Super Bowl’ of tennis tournaments and are greatly honored to have been named host city. The city of Mobile is fortunate to have a great deal of resources at its disposal, including enthusiastic volunteers and city and county government officials who financially support our efforts. Hosting this tournament would not be possible without the support and help of the local tennis community.”

"We're excited to host this prestigious event in Mobile and welcome the players, their families and coaches,” said Mobile City Council Member Gina Gregory. “Tennis is big business for Mobile -- this tournament alone will have a $13 million economic impact. Our Tennis Center is the country's largest public facility and it more than pays for itself. We expect it will have a $30 million economic impact in 2007-2008."

"The Tennis Center is an asset to Mobile County," said Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean. "The center has contributed a tremendous economic impact for the county and an excellent recreational opportunity for the county, state and nation."

With so many teams and players competing in the Sectional Championship past host cities have typically needed multiple tennis sites in order to accommodate the volume of play. The Mobile Tennis Center’s 50 courts allow event organizers to possibly play all matches at one location.

Bids for the 2007 & 2008 USA League Tennis Mixed Doubles Southern Sectional Championships, the 2006 & 2007 BMW Combo Doubles Southern Sectional Championships and the 2006 & 2007 USA League Tennis are currently being reviewed by the Sectional Championships Subcommittee.




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