Largest tennis complex in U.S. will bring 154 new jobs and $60 million capital investment
Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will locate a new divisional headquarters facility at Lake Nona in Orlando, creating 154 new Florida jobs and more than $60 million in capital investment. The new “Home of American Tennis” will provide a state-of-the-art training facility that will enhance the sport at every level.
Governor Scott said, “We are excited that USTA has decided to expand, and create 154 new jobs in Orlando. This new divisional headquarters will make Florida one of the leading states for tennis, and with a capital investment of $60 million they will create USTA’s first year-round outdoor tennis facility in the nation. We have worked hard to create an opportunity economy and this announcement from USTA is more proof that Florida is moving in the right direction.”
The 106-court facility will house the USTA’s Community Tennis and Player Development divisions and will be divided into dedicated areas that will focus on the complete tennis pathway – from the youngest players, to recreational players, to collegians and to future professional players. The Lake Nona facility will also serve as home to the University of Central Florida’s tennis program.
“The Lake Nona area in Orlando provides the optimal location for the USTA’s new facility,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “We can build a state-of-the-art facility which will further our mission in the country’s top destination market that also provides opportunities for year-round play.”
In addition to its headquarters operations, the facility will serve as a tournament and training destination, serving a large number of visitors from outside the state throughout the year. This will increase the economic impact to the state and region. The Lake Nona location provides much needed infrastructure and airport access, nearby amenities, a supportive community with regional partnerships and an ideal climate for playing conditions.
Tavistock Group, the international private investment organization behind the 7,000-acre master-planned development at Lake Nona and the 600-acre Lake Nona Medical City healthcare cluster, was the driving force behind the pursuit of the USTA. Tavistock Group provided an innovative structure to acquire the land for the new state-of-the-art facility and will act as the lead developer on the 270,000 square-foot complex and its more than one hundred tennis courts.
“Lake Nona is founded on the principles of innovative collaboration and inspiring human potential,” said Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director of Tavistock Group. “USTA’s state-of-the-art facility at Lake Nona will be such an exemplary, tangible example of these principles in practice as this new ‘Home of American Tennis’ forges links across the region in pursuit of helping people of all ages and athletes from across the nation be their best, both on and off the court.”
A true economic superstate, Florida is the 4th largest state in the U.S. by population, and the 21st largest economy in the world. More than 2,600 corporate headquarters are located in the state, including 16 in the Fortune 500. Companies across all industries can benefit from its large market, top-ranked workforce and tremendous diversity. In addition, the state’s low corporate tax burden, no personal income tax, global access and modern infrastructure provide the perfect climate for business.
“This announcement represents another incredible Florida business first and we couldn’t be happier about this news,” said Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope. “Florida will soon be home to the largest tennis complex in the nation, as well as critical player development operations. The USTA could have located this one-of-a-kind facility anywhere in the U.S. and they chose Florida. When you put the state’s resources together with strong regional partnerships, it creates an ideal opportunity and we’re thrilled the USTA chose Florida. We look forward to watching the future of the sport being led from our state.”
This project would not have been possible without the close partnerships of the Tavistock Group, the University of Central Florida, Visit Orlando, Metro Orlando EDC, Orange County, City of Orlando, CareerSource Florida, Inc. and the Department of Economic Opportunity.
“USTA’s decision to locate its headquarters in Orlando is a win for Florida families and tennis enthusiasts. Sports tourism is an important and growing business in Florida. Florida’s sports industry attracts more than 13 million visitors a year and has a $44 billion economic impact. I am thankful for USTA’s investment in Florida and look forward to congratulating them on their future successes in our state,” said Jesse Panuccio Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
As part of the project, CareerSource Florida has offered the USTA performance-based partial reimbursement grants for employee training through the Quick Response Training (QRT) program. QRT grants are structured to be flexible and responsive to the training needs of new or expanding businesses.
“With a top-notch talent pool and the support of leaders who understand the needs of business, Central Florida is clearly a perfect match for the U.S. Tennis Association’s new state-of-the-art facilities and plans for future business growth,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Chris Hart IV.
“It’s incredibly exciting to welcome USTA to Orange County. As a region we are committed to world-class sports, recreation and culture. Establishing the nation’s top tennis training facility in Central Florida is a great win for our community,” said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. “In addition to the direct economic impact of USTA regional headquarters, we’re excited about the prospects of year-round tournaments and the development of future tennis stars right here in our own backyard.”
“The City of Orlando is proud to become the next ‘Home of American Tennis,’” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The selection of Orlando for the United States Tennis Association’s divisional headquarters speaks to the value of our community’s assets – a talented labor force, business friendly environment and global access via a world-class airport. Orlando is a great place to live, work and play. We are excited to welcome USTA to our dynamic city.”
“Orlando is the ideal location for the USTA’s new divisional headquarters and training and tournament facilities. We’re a region internationally recognized for welcoming visitors and businesses from around the world with access to first-rate infrastructure, world-class amenities and a community built upon collaboration,” said Rick Weddle, President and CEO of the Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Originally published by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission