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Huntsville Tennis Center Celebrates 10 Years in John Hunt Park

Published on July 8, 2015

Mayor Battle speaking to media at tennis court

Join the festivities and “make a racket” with the Huntsville Tennis Center during its 10-year anniversary celebration on Wednesday, June 8, in John Hunt Park. Mayor Tommy Battle and community leaders will gather at the Center at 5 p.m. to kick off the party with a “ball toss” at the 30-court complex.

Since the HTC first opened as a public facility in May 2005 with 24 clay courts, demand quickly outpaced supply, prompting the center to add six additional courts the following year. Since that time, the facility has been a tremendous asset to the Huntsville community. More than 1,600 players are now active participants, and the daily login shows between 35,000 and 40,000 players sign-in each year. Approximately 275+ adult USTA teams play through the facility with the center hosting up to five major adult/junior annual tournaments.

“Tennis is a lifetime sport and nowhere is that more evident than here at the tennis center where we have players of all ages,” said Mayor Battle. “With the center at capacity, it is time to expand and we’ve budgeted money in the 2016 capital plan to help fund six more clay courts.”

The Huntsville Tennis Center has raised $200,000 toward its matching share of the cost of the expansion with a long-term goal of adding 10-16 more courts in future phases. Director of Tennis Joc Simmons says the center ultimately plans to offer up to 46 clay courts, making it the largest clay court tennis complex in the South.

“We’ve been aggressively fundraising and working with the City on its vision for the John Hunt Park master plan, and that vision includes an expanded tennis center,” said Simmons. “Tennis is one of the most popular recreational sports in the city, and we look forward to being able to serve more citizens.”

In addition to offering professional tennis lessons and general court play, HTC hosts numerous high school matches each spring and offers a diverse range of programs and activities for players of all experience levels. The Center sponsors fun leagues, home school programs, USTA adult leagues, drop in clinics, junior team tennis, socials, cardio tennis and sanctioned and non-sanctioned tournaments for both juniors and adults.

HTC is proud to work with other outstanding tennis organizations in the area including the Huntsville Women’s Tennis Association, Huntsville Area Tennis Association and Huntsville Industrial League. “These organizations do a great job of promoting the growth of tennis, funding different projects, volunteering their time, charity work and are just great organizations we are happy to be involved with,” said Simmons.”

HTC Awards and Activities

Recognized nationally and throughout the Southeast as a premier tennis facility, HTC has earned numerous accolades.

2007 Alabama Tournament of the Year – Super Senior State Championships

2010 Alabama Tournament of the Year – Southern Senior Cup (the crown Jewel adult tournament of the South)

2013 Alabama Tournament of the Year – Southern 10’s Clay Court Closed

2006 Alabama Special Event of the Year (Free Kids Spring Break Camp – 250+ individuals)

Top 13 Outstanding National Facilities in 2008

HTC Board of Control

Jim Daniel, Chairman; Tony Smith, Vice President; Scott Harriman, Past President; Karen Mitchell, Connie Keltner, Susan Griffin, Jeanne Moorer

HTC Full-Time Staff

Joc Simmons, Director of Tennis; Tani Deaton, Clubhouse Supervisor; Jon Newby, Maintenance Supervisor; Paul Robin, Head Tennis Professional; Andrew Noble, Assistant Clubhouse Supervisor; Cory Wheeler, Assistant Maintenance Supervisor; Kyle Ready and Dameon Burns, Maintenance.