When it comes to luring a tournament to town, it helps when the mayor is a big tennis fan.
At least it helped the new partners in Atlantic Station decide that tennis in the city was something they should take seriously.
The result is the BB&T Atlanta Open, which runs from July 14 to July 22 on six courts in the former steel mill, now a mixed-use property just off 17th Street in Midtown.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament is sanctioned by the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Southern region and features many of the world’s top players.
It is the third year the professional tennis event has taken place in the Atlanta region, but the first time it has been situated downtown.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been on the court and looked up and saw the city skyline,” said player Tim Smyczek, who played in the tournament when it was held north of downtown in a more rural setting.
“When I heard they were going to do this in this area, I thought this is going to be interesting, being right in the middle of the city,” Smyczek said.
“Part of what makes this unique is that it’s an outdoor event in the middle of the city,” said tournament director Bob Bryant. “Typically the only real estate available for tennis is going to be in an arena somewhere downtown.”
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, CBS Atlanta