In a new study, Mobile Alabama’s Copeland-Cox Tennis Center was said to have an economic impact of just over $54 million on the area in 2012.
Dr. Phil Forbes, a professor at the University of South Alabama conducted the study, which was based on 17 tournaments held at the facility in 2012. Those tournaments – many of them USTA events — attracted 9,851 players, mostly from out of town and an estimated 12,843 non-players who spent just over $22 million.
The study said that without the tennis center some $54 million that would not have been pumped into Mobile’s economy.
“It produces a lot of business year round, and it’s a hidden secret here in Mobile,” David Randel, the president and CEO of the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, told Alabama.com.
Danny Corte, the executive director of the Mobile Sports Authority, added: “In my opinion, that’s one of the secrets of Mobile. That tennis center brings in a lot of money every year. There are very few places that have 60 courts in one setting. That’s a big deal to these tournaments. That facility is a huge economic generator for the city and county of Mobile. A lot of people don’t know how important that facility is to Mobile’s economy. It’s almost like it’s a secret, but it really isn’t to those in the sports business.”
Some $8.6 million went to hotels and about $4.3 million was spent on restaurants. The players and their friends also contributed $2.5 million to the tax base.
Mobile Alabama’s Copeland-Cox Tennis Center’s Scott Novak said that having one of the world’s largest public tennis venues as well as other nearby courts helps, as does good weather and courts that are in good condition.
“Once you do a good job, you can keep the tournaments for a while,” he said. “So we have had good retention, and we are always bidding for tournaments to come here. Mobile has done a great job of keeping the facilities up to date. We have a lot of people in Mobile who get it. People that I deal with say, ‘Mobile gets it.’”
The tennis center’s biggest event will occur next weekend as it host the USTA Southern Combo Doubles, which is said to have pumped $7.3 million into the economy last year.
Corte added that the leaders need to realize that they will soon have to install some clay courts to accommodate the desires of the older generation of players.
©Daily Tennis News Wire