By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
It’s likely the most contentious item proposed for a 2014 SPLOST, but officials are touting the big numbers the Georgia Tennis Center would rank in for Rome’s economy.
At Thursday’s SPLOST advisory meeting, local stakeholders presented the proposed 30-acre, 62-court tennis center that, with $14.1 million in penny-tax revenue, would be built alongside the Armuchee Connector. Current estimates show a $13-24 Million impact on the local economy and, according to Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Lisa Smith, those numbers are conservative.
“In 2012, the University of Alabama did a study on Mobile’s Tennis Center, that’s 60 courts. They showed out of 17 tournaments, $54 million dollars was infused into their community. Really? We’ve got to do that,” Smith says. “We cannot stop. We cannot rest on our laurels. We have an opportunity. We have a tennis history here. We have a tennis town here. We need to build this facility.”
Already, the ten current tournaments at the Rome-Floyd Tennis Center inject $6 million a year into the local economy.
In the plans for the tennis center, are 62 hard surface courts, 12 of which will be designed for children age 10 and under. A Clubhouse and lots of green-space for entertainment and vendors are in the proposal as well.