Thursday’s announcement in the Atlanta Journal Constitution of a proposed $50 million tennis complex in Roswell took local officials by surprise and with mixed reaction. While there will be an impact on the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College if the project is approved, officials believe there will be little direct competition since the new facility will focus on clay courts versus Rome’s hard court facility.
“Of course, the proposed $50 million-dollar tennis facility in Roswell, GA will most likely have some impact on the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College; however, RTCBC will continue to provide excellent amenities, programs, and tournament management to both destination competition and local community stakeholders,” says Tom Daglis, executive director of Rome Tennis Center. “It appears that the majority of courts in the proposed project will be clay courts, which may lead to a somewhat different business model than RTCBC’s entirely hard court facility.”
According to the AJC, a family foundation plans to build a sprawling multimillion-dollar tennis complex in Roswell, including the largest concentration of clay courts in the nation.The proposed Angela Krause Tennis, Pickleball and Fitness Center at Roswell’s Big Creek Park will feature more than 135 tennis courts, including 80 clay courts and an indoor facility. The planned 60-acre complex along Old Alabama Road will be designed for not only local players but as an international destination for tournaments. Read more
“To date, the tournaments and events we have hosted at RTCBC have been extremely well received by tournament players, parents, coaches, and spectators. Participants relish coming to Rome to compete within the tournament atmosphere we have created here, while enjoying the Rome southern hospitality. That dynamic is difficult to duplicate,” says Daglis.
City Manager Sammy Rich says there “could be some competition because we’re in the same area”, but points out the differences in the facilities.
“We are not in the clay court market. We were very deliberate when designing the Tennis Center to not do that because that wasn’t a draw in our area. But there could be some competition if they have some hard courts,” he says. “I want to take a look at their plans as we’ve not heard about the project before. But as we all know, something of this scale doesn’t happen overnight. It will take time to develop and be a destination market.”
In the meantime, the City is moving forward with the addition of indoor/covered courts to the Rome Tennis Center. Rich says a design team is now working on plans to figure out how much space and infrastructure will be needed to add the six indoor courts. “Things are moving along well. We hope to have initial drawings within the next month,” he says.
Daglis adds, “I certainly see RTCBC continuing with our indoor court project, as that will allow us to meet tournament bid requirements on select premium tennis tournaments.”
The goal is to have the covered courts ready by Spring 2020 when the ACC Tournament returns.
Looking ahead, the Roswell project could impact to speculative development around the Tennis Center including talks of a future hotel project or the proposed improvements to Mount Berry Square Mall. Officials say it is too early to comment on how development could be impacted.