Charleston Tennis and the City of Charleston, Southern Carolina, have revealed plans to renovate and modernise the Volvo Car Stadium.
The 20-year-old city owned facility will undergo extensive upgrades to enhance the stadium experience for patrons, performers and event management, allowing the stadium to attract world-class athletes and performers to Daniel Island.
The stadium is host to the nine-day Volvo Car Open, the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. The event attracts an average of 90,000 attendees and more than 100 of the top singles and doubles tennis players to Charleston every year.
The renovations will be funded by Ben and Kelly Navarro, the owners of Charleston Tennis LLC, as a gift to the City of Charleston.
The new plan features a multi-storey “Stage House” that will house player wellness facilities including premium locker rooms, physical therapy and exercise space as well as back of house media and production and food preparation areas, plus a VIP Club level overlooking Center Court.
This building will serve as the foundation for a new permanent canopy structure that will provide south side shade for tennis fans and critical stage infrastructure and weather protection for musical and theatrical performances.
Other changes include an overall refresh of the façade and concourse, enclosing the corners of the upper tier to create a more intimate bowl atmosphere; new premium hospitality suites, increasing permanent bathrooms by 130%, upgrades to the concession offerings, IT and architectural lighting as well as the construction of an elevated boardwalk underneath the stadium’s Grand Oaks that will protect their root system but allow for patron’s to enjoy new programming under the tree’s vast canopies.
Construction will begin after final city approvals, with an anticipated project completion in the fall of 2021. For the 2021 tournament, which will take place April 3-11, the Volvo Car Open will construct a temporary stadium on its current Althea Gibson Club Court. The temporary stadium will provide seating for up to 3,000 fans per session and create an intimate atmosphere to host world-class tennis.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said:
This renovation will dramatically enhance the experience of both players and visitors, draw in world-class performances and inspire local young athletes who are coming up through the ranks. On behalf of the citizens of Charleston, I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Navarro family for this remarkable gift, and I look forward to getting started.
Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open tournament director, added:
We are beyond excited with what this state of the art, world-class facility will become as a result of this renovation. We can’t imagine a better way of celebrating our 50th year of tennis in 2022 and look forward to showing off the new facilities to our players, fans, partners and volunteers.
We are committed to operating the Volvo Car Open in April of 2021. We will follow all health and safety guidelines set forth by governmental agencies at that time. As of now, our team is working as if we are moving forward with our normal preparation cycle for the tournament. With that said, we will be planning for multiple variations of what the event could be with the overarching premise that the health and safety of our fans, players, volunteers, partners and staff will be our top priority.
Images courtesy of Volvo Car Open