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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Charlotte Eyeing Pro Tennis With Plans for $400M Complex

  • The city council approved $65 million in funding for the development.
  • Pro event currently played in Cincinnati could move to Charlotte in 2026.
City Of Charlotte/Beemok Capital

Charlotte, North Carolina, appears to be serious about adding professional tennis to the city’s sports offerings.

The Charlotte City Council approved $65 million in funding for a vast tennis complex that would include a 14,000-seat stadium and potentially cost $400 million to build. Taxpayers would contribute around $130 million to the project.

Charlotte’s chances at scoring pro tennis look good, considering the remaining $200 million in funding would come from Beemok Capital — the company that owns the Western & Southern Open, a co-sanctioned ATP/WTA event annually played in Cincinnati.

Beemok is the firm of Ben Navarro, a billionaire businessman from South Carolina. He bought the Cincinnati tournament from the United States Tennis Association in 2022 and also owns a WTA event played in Charleston, South Carolina.

A decision on the future of the W&S Open could be made this summer. The first tournament in Charlotte would be in 2026 when the proposed complex would open.

Should Charlotte succeed in luring the event, the city would add pro tennis to its sporting landscape that already includes the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship, and two NASCAR Cup Series races. The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes play in Raleigh’s PNC Arena.

Charlotte annually hosts the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and college football kickoff games with marquee teams from the ACC and SEC. 

The Hornets’ Spectrum Center has also played host to NCAA and ACC tournament games in recents years. The city’s Quail Hollow Golf Club has previously hosted the PGA Championship and President’s Cup.

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