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Tennis Center of Camden opens

Posted: February 15, 2018 3:41 p.m.
Updated: February 16, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Martin L. Cahn/C-I

The Tennis Center of Camden is now open on Campbell Street. Courts can be rented on a two-hour basis, and there are family, individual and senior annual memberships. A long list of charity events and tournaments are already scheduled through October. A grand opening will be held sometime in March.


The Tennis Center of Camden is open for business. The city quietly opened the center recently and already has a dozen tournaments and clinics set up through October. It already hosted the Camden CC Tennis Association’s One Day - Net Generation event on Feb. 3. Next up is the One Day RR Food for the Soul Charity Tournament, set for March 10.

City Manager Mel Pearson spread the news during Camden City Council’s meeting on Tuesday. He said a grand opening will be held in March.

“We will form a committee at some point, along with Paola Maoli, the director of the tennis complex, to schedule the event -- we’d like very much to make it a family event, so that children can play tennis and run around the courts a little bit, win prizes and that sort of thing,” Pearson said.

Upcoming events on the tennis center’s schedule include:

• the Marcus Luke Pickleball Clinic (March 10-11);

• “Classically Carolina” Adult Hard Court Closed State Championships (March 16-18);

• “Tracy Logging” Championship (March 23-25);

• Camden “Classically Carolina” Junior Championships (April 20-22);

• Mark Renneson Pickleball Clinic (June 1-3);

• “United We Stand” Pickleball Charity Tournament (June 8-10);

• Junior Team Tennis (JTT) State Championships (July 13-15);

• “Classically Carolina” Adult Hard Court Open State Championships (Aug. 24-26);

• “Books on Broad” Challenge (Sept. 14-16);

• Food for the Soul Pickleball Charity Tournament (Sept. 22 or 29, final date to be determined); and

• the Cassidy Allstate Junior Doubles Open (Oct. 5-7).

Pearson said other events could be added to the schedule as more organizations learn about the center.

He said the JTT state championship in July will be a large event.

“The city will do its part for that kind of event to put on a show for those who come and participate,” Pearson said. “I understand there are required pizza parties for those junior players, and we intend to do what we need to do to have them come back the following year. That’s a big part of what you wanted to accomplish: state level tournaments -- statewide tournaments with this facility.”

Pearson said the “flip side” of that equation is “recreational, lower level” and charity tournaments.

He also reported on the center’s fee schedule. The Tennis Center of Camden will offer family, individual and senior annual memberships for $300, $200 and $150, respectively. Ball machines can be rented for $15/hour or by an individual for $120/year or families for $200/year. Courts can be rented for singles or doubles play at $5 per person for two hours at a time. U.S. Tennis Association League teams can rent courts for various prices and includes one weekly team practice.

“All the rules, regulations and fees were assembled from experience in other facilities -- they are comparable to other facilities in the Midlands,” Pearson said. “We’re excited about pickleball … there’s no membership requirement. We’re planning on having them open to the public; they’re lighted.”

Pearson added that two tennis courts adjacent to the pickleball courts will also be free for public use.

The center will also offer lessons for $48/hour (private) or $28/hour (semi-private). Classes can then be taken by three, four, five, or six and more people on a sliding scale. A “10U” clinic can be offered for $10/half-hour and needs two or more people to be offered. Junior clinics made up of three or more people are offered for $17 each.

In addition, as with the already-scheduled events, organizations and groups can rent courts or the entire center for various fees.

Pearson said the center is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m., and that these hours may be modified based on feedback “and what we think the community needs.”

The city built the more than $3 million complex using a combination of Hospitality Tax Fund bonds and Capital and Paving Improvement funds.


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