Community Tennis Meet & Greet on Jan. 17, Grand Re-Opening on Feb. 2
Gainesville’s public tennis facilities are getting a fresh new look and a wealth of new programs for the new year, as USTA Florida and the City of Gainesville bring “Play Tennis Gainesville” to the vibrant college town.
The mantra represents USTA Florida’s commitment to managing all four city tennis facilities, and providing a new array of play opportunities and facility improvements for residents and visitors to enjoy. Gainesville is the third municipality in the state to contract with USTA Florida to manage its public tennis courts. The not-for-profit officially begins managing the courts on Jan. 7, 2019.
“Gainesville has a strong connection to tennis, and we are working with the city to build on the long-standing relationships players have had with the former tennis management,” said USTA Florida Director of Tennis Management Frank Swope. “We are excited to meet the players and residents, first at the Meet & Greet, then at the Grand Re-Opening of the public facilities.”
Albert Ray Massey (Westside) Park (located at 1001 NW 34 Street in Gainesville) is one of four Gainesville public parks that will be USTA Florida-managed facilities, including Tom Petty Park (formerly Northeast Park at 400 NE 16th Ave.), Northside Park (5751 NW 34th St.), and TB McPherson Park (1717 SE 15th St.).
“We are committed to providing the citizens of Gainesville with experiences that enrich their lifestyles and provide opportunities to grow and connect with both their families and their community,” said Recreation Manager for the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department Billy Marcantel. “USTA Florida’s expertise, resources and commitment to grow tennis in Gainesville makes this partnership a great match for the city.”
USTA Florida will host a community Meet & Greet on Jan. 17 at the Albert Ray Massey (Westside) Recreation Center, where Gainesville residents can choose between a lunch time session from noon-1:30 p.m. or an evening session from 6-7:30 p.m. All residents are welcome to attend to enjoy refreshments and learn more about USTA Florida’s plans for the area tennis facilities, meet the new head pro over the facilities, hear from City of Gainesville representatives and engage in a Q&A, and meet with USTA Florida executives and staff who will be supporting the facility and the community. For details, visit www.playtennisgainesville.com.
On Feb. 2 the entire community will grab their racquets for a Grand Re-Opening Festival from noon-3 p.m. at the Joyce Oransky Tennis Center at Albert Ray Massey (Westside) Park, featuring a free lunch, a tennis exhibition, face painting, photo booth, pickleball and tennis play opportunities for families, youth, adults and seniors.
The events are coordinated by USTA Florida in conjunction with the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs Department. With a strong history of community involvement and USTA Florida partnership, the Gainesville tennis community is also supported by the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) which runs a number of after-school tennis programs, and the powerhouse USTA “Tennis on Campus” University of Florida student club tennis team and their community outreach.
The City of Gainesville’s public tennis facilities will also receive an entirely new digital presence, including a new web site, www.playtennisgainesville.com, where residents can book courts, sign up for programs, and register for special events. Social media channels will enable players of all ages to connect with each other and share their experiences both on and off the courts.
Gainesville is the third city with facilities overseen by the USTA Florida Tennis Management Division, which was established in 2017 to partner with municipalities to run quality tennis facilities. The agreement between the City of Gainesville and USTA Florida provides the not-for-profit with the opportunity to run tennis operations for the next five years, with the option for an additional five year period.
ABOUT USTA FLORIDA TENNIS MANAGEMENT
The USTA Florida Board of Directors in 2017 unanimously approved the creation of a new Tennis Management Division to promote and develop tennis in Florida. USTA Florida Tennis Management delivers high-quality tennis programs, teaching pros and management, utilizing USTA networks and partnerships to ensure tennis grows in local communities for all ages and demographics. USTA Florida Tennis Management is raising the standards for tennis programming and facility management across the state of Florida. For more information go to www.ustaflorida.com/tennismanagement.