Pickleball article publishes tennis letter
March, 31st. LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Recently you posted a pickleball article. Although it is a growing sport, a recent study by the Physical Activity Council shows that tennis is growing faster and is much more important.
According to this study, participation in tennis increased by 22%, or approximately 4.0 million people. This same study shows that pickleball has increased by 21% and that there are 4.2 million people playing it.
Therefore, in 2020 tennis participation increased in one year to reach the current size of pickleball participation. As regional tennis continues to grow, one of our main challenges has been to have access to sufficient tennis courts for the large number of players participating in the leagues, as well as for recreational play.
Although there have been new or rebuilt tennis facilities, tennis courts continue to be lost to pickleball.
Obviously, interest in pickleball is increasing, especially among those 55 and over. But as the information below shows, tennis caters to a much larger and wider age group and provides a much larger financial contribution in this area.
Important statistics to consider
In 2020, 21.6 million people aged 6 and over played tennis in the United States. This is an increase of 22% from 2019. Tennis had the most participants AND had the fastest growth of all racquet sports.
In Lake Norman, adult league players numbered over 6,500, a 3% increase from 2019.
· Over the past 5 years, the Lake Norman Tennis Association has paid locally over $ 100,000 in court access fees for its adult and junior programs.
· Almost $ 150,000 was provided locally to support the construction and repair of tennis courts, as well as for items such as windshields, benches and markers.
· The 18+ NC USTA State Championships have been played in Lake Norman since 2002. The economic impact for the 1200+ adult participants is over $ 1 million for each of those 8 years, totaling nearly $ 8 million.
According to the Physical Activity Council’s 2020 report, 21.6 million people played tennis in 2020. This is an increase of 22.4% from 2019, an increase of 4 million people. and the fastest growth rate for all racquet sports.
Pickleball was played by 4.2 million players, an increase of 21.3% and 740,000 players. The United States Tennis Association is the governing body of tennis for youth and adults. Its current membership is nearly 700,000. USA Pickleball is the governing body of pickleball, with 40,000 members. For comparison, pickleball membership accounts for about 5.7% of tennis membership.
Follow the money
Tennis has also made significant financial contributions to this community. In 2019, the USTA Lake Norman leagues had nearly 6,500 participants. These players pay court fees to play these matches on your public courts.
Over the past 5 years, the Lake Norman Tennis Association has donated over $ 100,000 to area parks and recreation groups for league play.
Do other racquet sports in the area pay court fees and contribute to park and recreation service revenues?
For the past 8 years, Lake Norman has hosted the 18+ NC USTA Adult League State Championships. This event brings together over 1,200 adult players from across the state to compete for 4 days for 11 different state championship titles. A study of the annual economic impact on hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. of the region exceeds $ 1 million. It’s $ 8 million since he started 8 years ago.
Courts must be available
One of the main criteria used to select the host cities for these championships is the number and quality of tennis courts available. Over 85 fields were used here in 2019 and more will likely be needed for the 2021 Championships. The continued opportunities to host this type of event at Lake Norman depend in large part on their availability and good condition at the site. ‘to come up.
USTA-National, USTA-Southern, and USTA-North Carolina each provided Facility Assistance Grants in the form of technical and financial support for the construction and maintenance of tennis courts in the region.
These programs have contributed over $ 100,000 to the construction of North Mecklenburg Park, Holbrook Park and, most recently, the Davidson Community School tennis courts. The Lake Norman Tennis Association also paid for tennis court supplies, including windshields, markers, garbage cans, signage and benches.
Pay our way
Did other racquet sports in the region provide significant technical or financial assistance for the construction of courts?
What future for racquet sports? Racquet sports are expected to continue to grow. Tennis will continue to grow among young people and adults.
Local tennis leagues will continue to bring in thousands of dollars in revenue for the area’s parks and recreation departments. Lake Norman will continue to see 1,200 or more adult players come here each June to compete for a state championship and to spend over $ 1 million on hotels, food and social activities.
With the continuous improvement of public and private tennis facilities, Lake Norman could become a site to host additional southern and national events, bringing together players from across the country. To keep the momentum going, we need your support to keep the tennis courts we now have in good condition and to continue to build new courts to support the growing number of players.
Tennis is an important and growing sport for all ages that financially supports the local community.
When making future decisions regarding the construction or elimination of tennis courts, please consider the facts: Tennis is a lifelong sport played by all ages, it has a large and growing number of players, it provides technical and financial contributions to the construction of courts ensure continued financial support to the region’s parks and recreation departments and to the community.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like a copy of the full Physical Activity Council report.
—JD Weber, President
Normand Lake Tennis Association