By Joseph Merkel
After years of planning and lobbying, the Troy Park Tennis & Sports Center is finally becoming a reality. Terms have been negotiated on a 40-year lease to secure approximately 14 acres of Troy Hill Regional Park, which will be used to build the new center.
Including 18 outdoor and 11 indoor tennis courts, the Center will also house an 8,000-seat stadium, to be used for any multitude of events.
“It’s going to be so much more than a tennis center,” Art Tollick, president of the Howard County Tennis Patrons said at an investment luncheon March 24. The Troy Park Tennis & Sports Center will be used for sports and events ranging from soccer and volleyball to mixed martial arts, according to Tollick.
He and the HCTP have entered into partnerships with Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) and tennis hall of famer Donald Dell, known as the father of sports marketing, to find a naming partner for the center. An agreement could bring as much as $10 million revenue to the center. The HCTP has also secured a commitment of up to $30 million of tax-exempt bonds from M&T Bank.
Dell, in attendance at Wednesday’s lunch, described the center as a “historic moment for Howard County in sports” and a place “that will attract a lot of kids in Howard County.”
Dell also announced BEST reached an agreement to bring a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event to the Baltimore/Washington area to help break in the new center. As of now, the event is scheduled to be played at the new Troy Park Stadium, though time is of the essence.
The HCTP has raised more than $400,000, just $250,000 short of a goal that will enable them to immediately cover legal, architectural and engineering fees for permitting. Their plan is to finish funding in the next month and begin construction in the next six.
If all goes as scheduled, the stadium will be finished in time to house the event, and the rest of the center can continue to be built thereafter.
If you are interested in helping the cause, you can reach Art Tollick at 443-286-2115 or visit the Web site at www.troyparktennis.com.
Posted March 25, 2010