USTA: Miami Open move to Orlando campus possible in future
NEW YORK (AP) A U.S. Tennis Association official says it is ''within the realm of possibility'' that the joint ATP-WTA tournament in Key Biscayne could move at some point in the future to the new USTA National Campus in Florida.
Kurt Kamperman, the USTA's chief executive for community tennis, said Thursday at a news conference about the facility that is opening in Orlando in January that if the owners of the Miami Open ''wanted to move'' the event, there would be room to build a suitable stadium.
A court decision last year prevents the Miami Open from upgrading its complex, and a lawyer for the tournament has said moving the event is all but certain.
There has been speculation about possible future locations, including somewhere in South America or China.
''We want to keep the tournament in the U.S.,'' USTA President Katrina Adams said Thursday.
Touted by the USTA as the ''future home of American tennis,'' the Orlando site has dozens of courts - including European red clay, green clay, indoor, outdoor hard courts like those used at the U.S. Open - as well as housing for junior players. Kamperman said it is about 50 percent bigger than the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that hosts the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows.
Martin Blackman, the head of USTA player development, said the Orlando facility will allow the USTA to gather the best junior players from around the country.
The hope, too, is to ''raise the bar'' for youth tennis training facilities ''and also to raise the teaching level,'' Kamperman said.
''This will have a major footprint in how we are working with our youth,'' Adams said. ''We're going to get those champions.''