Municipal facility of the year: Baseline Tennis Center, Univ. of Minn.
Built as home to the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s and women’s teams in 2002, the Baseline Tennis Center has evolved into the premier public tennis center in the Twin Cities. For this reason, Baseline also is the first collegiate facility to win TI’s Municipal Facility of the Year Award.
The center features 22 maroon and gold Plexipave courts — 12 outdoors and 10 indoors with 30-foot ceilings. Amenities include a full pro shop, stringing services, 120-foot-candle lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, an electronic scoreboard, concession stands and bleachers with chair-back seating.
In addition to hosting Big Ten, NCAA and ITA events and championships, Baseline has been the site of the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Paralympic training center, 2011 National Public Parks Tennis Championships, 2004 Transplant Games of America, Division III and junior college programs, high school tournaments, junior and senior events, and a variety of USTA tournaments and leagues, fundraisers, workshops, camps and youth programs.
John Pratt, director of Baseline, said the facility grew its programming in every category in 2013. “Tennis has given us a tremendous opportunity to let Baseline serve as a window to the University of Minnesota, both locally and nationally.” — Cindy Cantrell
Tips for Success
- Keep your partners close. Baseline enjoys tremendous support from the university. Its event-driven (rather than membership-driven) model is rewarded through relationships with all constituents in the local tennis community.
- Remain open-minded. With no membership dues or base to fall back on, Baseline keeps courts full with creativity.
- Listen to your front line. Teaching pros, tournament officials and front desk staff have the best vantage point regarding how to do things more efficiently.
See all articles by Cynthia Cantrell
About the Author
Cynthia Cantrell is a contributing editor of Tennis Industry magazine.
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