CARY, NC (WNCN) — At least 300,000 people walk through the doors of Cary Tennis Park each year.
City officials hope the number will continue to rise as park officials add more tournaments and more programming to the schedule.
More than $900,000 in Wake County and city funds were spent to renovate the park last year.
Over the next two years, there will be even more expansion as officials strive to establish Cary as a tennis destination.
“To have something like that, it’s a real gem sitting in the middle of the Triangle,” said Ted Reese, co-tournament director for the Atlantic Tire Championship.
And a money maker.
Reese said Cary Tennis Park (CTP) is becoming a true destination for tennis players, near and far.
“[We have] players around the world. We have players who have just arrived [to the Atlantic Tire Championship] of the US Open,” he explained.
The week-long professional tennis tournament has called CTP home for nine years. It is one of their most popular events.
“We have people from all over the world coming, so they’re going to eat, stay in hotels, and all the fans come to watch,” Reese said. “So the economic impact of bringing people in, with taxes on meals and entertainment, is significant. It really puts Cary on the map.
The CBS 17 crews were at the park before the start of Saturday’s doubles final.
Officials said attendance at this year’s tournament was their second-best yet.
It’s just the beginning.
“We also just received a bid for the US Championship,” Reese said. “It will be here in the fall. It’s the biggest women’s collegiate event.
Reese said the park added new lighting and seating to attract even more events and make the place more appealing.
In a year or two, they plan to tear down and rebuild the clubhouse.
Reese thinks they’ve gone this far with the American Tennis Association, because of the community’s commitment to the sport.
“It’s just something [town officials] have been very successful and it brings a lot of people to Cary,” he explained. “They want to make sure it’s not just a park. There are programs, there are opportunities for children to learn to play the game, adults to play the game, and there are 90+ tennis championships. Truly, from the cradle to the grave, you can play tennis.