Moved to Rome by necessity because of politics in North Carolina in 2017, the ACC men’s and women’s tennis championships were an unexpected bonus for the community (economic impact of at least $500,000) and the SPLOST-funded tennis center off the Armuchee Connector and Old Dalton Road. The immediate hope was a quick return this past spring but the ACC returned to Cary, N.C.
But not for long. Look for the member schools of the ACC to return in April 2020 and 2021, bringing extra tourism revenue and national exposure once again to Northwest Georgia. Here’s the announcement:
Media release: Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and Rome Sports announce the return of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships on April 15-19, 2020, and on April 21-25, 2021.
Says Sammy Rich, City Manager of Rome. “The recent decision by the Rome City Commissioners to fund enclosed courts at RTCBC solidifies Rome’s commitment to position our community as the epicenter of tennis tournaments in the Southeast. Whether or not you are a tennis player, our tennis center continues to benefit the entire community by creating positive economic impact.”
Says Tom Daglis, Executive Director of the tennis center: “We are honored to bring back the ACC Tennis Championships to Rome! A tournament of this caliber is a catalyst to the local Rome economy and brings a level of tennis excellence to the Rome community. Hosting the ACC speaks volumes to the quality of the entire Rome tennis community.”
Adds Brandon Neff, Assistant Commissioner, ACC Championships: “We’re excited to come back to the Rome Tennis Center in 2020 and 2021. Our student-athletes had a terrific experience in 2017. Not only was the tennis center a perfect place to host our event, but the community really embraced us. Our teams are still raving over the hospitality they received at local restaurants and hotels in Rome. We were blown away by the work of the volunteers who helped run our championships.”
The 2017 ACC Championships in Rome had record attendance, and made ACC history by running four consecutive matches on 24 umpire-chaired courts. Semi-final and final championship matches were nationally telecast on ACC Network Extra.
“Credit is due to our city commissioners and administration for recognizing the importance of adding enclosed courts at the tennis center to continue our ability to remain competitive in attracting top notch tournaments such as the ACC,” said Ann Hortman, director, Rome Sports. “We were lucky to have only one day with brief rain during the championships.”
“A special thank you to our hospitality partners and over 68 community ambassadors that made the 2017 ACC Tennis Championships a success. Adding enclosed courts plus our renowned Southern Hospitality was certainly an influence on the ACC’s decision to return to Rome,” said Hortman. “With only 4 months to plan the event, it was a huge team effort on everyone’s part that resulted in over $553,093 in economic impact to our community.”
Opened July 29, 2016, the tennis center is the nation’s largest single-surface facility boasting 60 courts across 30 acres. This city-owned facility was built on property donated by Berry College and is less than one mile from the main campus. (More than $11 million was provided by Rome/Floyd taxpayers as part of an earlier SPLOST project).