The USTA announced that Atlanta, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; and Richmond, Va., have been selected as the three finalists, as determined by nationwide voting, in its second annual search to determine the winner of the "Best Tennis Town" contest.
The ultimate winner of the "Best Tennis Town" search will be announced during the 2010 US Open, which will be held from August 30 through September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. In addition to the title, the winner of the 2010 "Best Tennis Town" contest will receive a $100,000 grant from the USTA to be used for community-wide tennis programming and facility enhancements. The 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, to be used towards the same purposes.
"The USTA is excited to see the passion and commitment to tennis that these towns have showcased through the ‘Best Tennis Town’ contest," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "All three finalists are great ambassadors for the sport and would be a worthy recipient of the title of ‘Best Tennis Town."
The search for the 2010 "Best Tennis Town" is the USTA’s second nationwide search to identify the local area—from small, rural towns to large, urban metro areas and everywhere in between—that best exemplifies the passion, excitement, spirit and impact that tennis brings to the local level.
A total of 82 tennis towns from all over the country submitted their entries for consideration on www.besttennistown.com
between April 7 and June 28, 2010, and after carefully reviewing each submission, a panel of judges selected ten communities as finalists for the 2010 "Best Tennis Town" title.
Atlanta, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; and Richmond, Va., were chosen as the three finalists from among that group of ten through voting at www.besttennistown.com
from July 16 through July 26. The following were selected in alphabetical order:
• Atlanta, Ga. – Home of the 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta boasts 250,000 people who play tennis annually, including more than 50,000 who play USTA League tennis. The city has more than 100 permanently-lined QuickStart courts, and features the country’s largest Jr. Team Tennis program, with 6,000 participants. In addition, Atlanta recently played host to the inaugural Atlanta Tennis Championships, an Olympus US Open Series event, held in conjunction with the US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship.
• Charleston, S.C. – Named as one of the nation’s top-10 best cities for strong infrastructure, attractive economy and savvy urban planning last year by Forbes Magazine, the city has more than 13,000 local players who take to the courts every year, including more than 7,500 who play USTA League tennis. In addition, the city houses more than 580 tennis courts within its 485 square mile radius, and is home to the annual Family Circle Cup women’s pro event.
• Richmond, Va. – With more than 27,500 active tennis players in the community, Richmond boasts more than 10,000 participants who play USTA League tennis. In addition, Richmond City of Parks and Recreation junior tennis programs are held at nearly two dozen sites on a year-round basis, featuring the QuickStart play format for 500 kids ages 10 & under.
These three communities beat out the following entrants in the nationwide voting: Beaverton, Ore.; Clearwater, Fla.; Delray Beach, Fla.; Manchester Center, Vt.; Rome, Ga.; Rosemount, Minn.; and Snow Hill, N.C. Each of these cities will receive $2,000 worth of tennis equipment for community use as honorable mentions.
Representatives of the top three finalists will travel to New York City, where the winner will be revealed during a ceremony at the 2010 US Open. The winner will take home the 2010 "Best Tennis Town" title, an accompanying trophy and $100,000 to be used for community-wide tennis programming or facility enhancements.