Municipal Facility of the Year: Southlake T.C.
If there is one word to describe the Southlake Tennis Center in Southlake, Texas, it would be “active.” Between league matches, 10 and Under Tennis, lessons, clinics and tournaments, the joint is always jumping. In 2011, STC won a USTA Outstanding Facility Award, and this year, it is RSI’s Municipal Facility of the Year.
“Since its opening in 1999, STC has been a hub for local and USTA tennis activity,” says Virgil Christian, USTA director of Community Development & Facilities. Importantly, “STC was one of the first in the area to line its courts for Youth Tennis, contributing to the tremendous success of the center’s youth program.”
“We’re really into Youth Tennis,” adds Director of Tennis Stephen Poorman, who together with his wife and STC general manager, Mia Gordon-Poorman, keep the activity going. “We have a lot of kids and families in our community.”
STC has 19 lighted hard courts, with blended lines for six 60-foot and eight 36-foot courts. There are nine pros on staff, including a Master Racquet Technician, and the full-service pro shop carries 10 clothing lines, four shoe brands, four racquet brands, and more than 30 strings.
“Three years ago, residents said there weren’t enough courts,” says Gordon-Poorman. “We proposed adding six courts to our original 13, got some grants from the USTA and raised $40,000 ourselves.” Now, because of increased usage, the city is looking into remodeling the building to add more space.
“Working with the city has been tremendous,” says Gordon-Poorman. “Twenty years ago they added a half-cent sales tax that goes toward parks and rec, which has enabled us to do some really great things, including this tennis center.”
Tips for Success
- With the pro shop, “We try to make it as much like a private club pro shop as we can,” says Gordon-Poorman. “We try to be a full-complement pro shop.”
- Have a resurfacing and maintenance plan. “The city understands the need to keep a tennis facility in great condition,” she says.
- Get great people. “Our pros do a wonderful job. Our overriding principle is to enhance the self-esteem of players, so they stay positive and feel better about themselves.”
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for Tennis Industry magazine.