USTA Celebrates ‘Tennis Night in America’
February 19, 2009
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—(BUSINESS WIRE)— The USTA announced today that more than 700 tennis facilities, recreation departments and community centers across the U.S. will host the first-ever national youth registration initiative for all spring and summer tennis programs on Monday, March 2. The launch is part of the “Tennis Night in America” celebration, and will also feature demonstrations for kids and parents.
“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—10-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, two-time defending Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, reigning French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and 2008 year-end No. 1 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.
National Youth Registration Night events 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 grass-roots 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 7 percent increase over the prior year and an increase of more than 30 percent since 2000. In addition, the number of new tennis players increased by 3 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.