In late 2012, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) first started to consider Orlando for its “new home for American Tennis.” USTA was in search of a location that would embrace its divisional headquarters in an effort to provide a complete tennis pathway, from the youngest players, to recreational players, to collegians and future professionals. USTA needed a location that would supply enough space for the 63-acre facility as well as embody the principles of the association.
Creating a short list quickly, USTA also considered Cary, North Carolina as a potential location. In May of 2014, USTA chose Lake Nona in Orlando based on community’s ability to exhibit extraordinary collaboration, the location’s proximity to the Orlando International Airport, and the amenities that would be available for visiting families of players.
The Partnership brought together USTA key leadership, members of the Tavistock Group, Lake Nona Medical City developers, Enterprise Florida and local elected leaders for a tour of Lake Nona, which prompted a year-long discussion.
The project includes a partnership with UCF to serve as the home for the university’s tennis program, and Visit Orlando and Visit Florida will serve as sponsors for USTA tournaments held at the facility.
In April 2015, USTA broke ground on the new divisional headquarters in Lake Nona. The 63-acre project will create 196 new jobs over three years, more than $60 million in capital investment and the growth is already expected to create an innovation and sports performance cluster, attracting more sports-related businesses and associations.
Partnerships and Collaboration
The Orlando Economic Partnership partnered with the City of Orlando, Orange County and the State of Florida on the project. In addition, the Tavistock Group, Orlando Utilities Commission, the University of Central Florida, Visit Orlando and Visit Florida also collaborated on this project.
It became clear early on that Orlando was our new home because this is an exciting, energetic place to be.Gordon Smith, Executive Director, USTA