Gamecocks Open Carolina Indoor Tennis Center
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Athletics celebrated the grand opening of the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center Friday evening with an invitation-only event for the key contributors to the 55,000-square-foot $7 million facility. The ceremony included individual dedications to the four named courts as well as the Arlo Elkins Lobby and the Kent DeMars Courts, which honor the legendary former coaches of the Gamecock women’s and men’s programs, respectively.
Built by Cohn Construction, the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center features six courts designed to look and play just like the teams’ outdoor courts. Custom lighting and a linear system provided by Sport Interiors matches those used by the USTA at its indoor facility in Lake Nona, Fla., and is designed to provide the best indoor playing experience possible. In addition to the main scoreboard in the center of the facility to track all courts, each court has its own individual scoreboard as well.
“These kids were sitting outside(the facility) and it was almost like they were waiting to get on a ride at Disney World,” said men’s tennis head coach Josh Goffi. “Without having an indoor facility in January and February, it’s a real grind for the student athletes. This facility is going to allow us and to afford us the opportunities for our student athletes to get out there and reap the benefits of all of the work that we’re doing”
Each team has a locker room at the facility with a shared players’ lounge, including a kitchenette. The facility also has a sports medicine athletic training room for the teams to use. Mezzanine seating accommodates over 250 fans on eight 21-foot bleachers with three rows, including back rests on the third row.
“It’s going to be electric in here. It’s going to define their(student athletes) experience as Gamecock athletes for many years to come,” said women’s tennis head coach Kevin Epley. “This is coming at the right time to build on the momentum we have going. We have the best facility in the state and arguably the best facility in the conference.”
Gamecock men’s and women’s tennis will have priority access to Carolina Indoor Tennis Center year-round for practice, competition and camps. The only one of its kind in the Midlands, the facility will also be made available to others on a limited basis, including Cornerstone and Founding member donors, and through a partnership with USTA South Carolina.
South Carolina’s men’s and women’s tennis teams are in the midst of their fall schedules with the women’s team competing in the Wolfpack Invitational Ranked Spotlight in Raleigh, N.C., this weekend and the men back on the courts on Mon., Oct. 4, at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
For tennis updates, continue to check back with GamecocksOnline.com or follow the teams on social media (@GamecockMTennis or @GamecockWTennis).