More than 750 Facilities Around the Country Now Set to Participate as USTA Celebrates ‘Tennis Night in America’ on Monday, March 2
February 23, 2009
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today that more than 750 tennis facilities, recreation departments and community centers across the U.S. have signed on to host events as part of the first-ever national youth registration initiative for all spring and summer tennis programs on Monday, March 2 as part of the “Tennis Night in America” celebration.
“Tennis Night in America” also includes the winner-take-all “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Showdown features four of the top women’s players in the world— two-time defending Wimbledon champion Venus Williams; her sister Serena Williams, the 2009 Australian Open champ and currently the world’s top-ranked player; defending French Open champion Ana Ivanovic; and number three-ranked Jelena Jankovic—playing in a one-night, single-elimination tournament for the inaugural Billie Jean King Cup before a live national TV audience on HBO.
The nationwide National Youth Registration Night events, which will also include demonstrations for kids and parents, serve as “opening day” for parents to sign up their kids for league and team tennis play, including USTA Jr. Team Tennis. Facilities and clubs across the country, in cooperation with HBO, will also be offering live viewing parties for the “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” to complement the kick-off of the 2009 tennis season.
“Tennis Night in America is a great opportunity to bring together the best of the pro game with our grassroots efforts,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “We have made a commitment to make tennis more accessible to all through our various programming and initiatives. This year, and the years ahead, Tennis Night in America promises to be an important component in our efforts to grow the game.”
Tennis participation in the U.S. has grown more than any other traditional sport since 2000. According to the annual research survey conducted for the Tennis Industry Association and the USTA by the Taylor Research Group, nearly 26.9 million people played tennis in 2008, the highest number of participants in 15 years. That marked a seven percent increase over the prior year and an increase of more than 30% since 2000. In addition, the number of new tennis players increased by three percent last year, to more than 5.9 million.
For more information on National Youth Registration Night activities, and to find information on Tennis Night in America activities in your area, visit www.tennisnight.com