Charlotte, North Carolina is making significant strides towards becoming a prominent player in the world of professional tennis. The Charlotte City Council has given its approval for $65 million in funding to develop an expansive tennis complex, projected to cost approximately $400 million, featuring a 14,000-seat stadium. The project would see taxpayers contributing around $130 million towards its realisation.
The prospects for Charlotte's entry into the realm of pro tennis look promising, as the remaining $200 million in funding is anticipated to come from Beemok Capital. This company happens to own the Western & Southern Open, a prestigious ATP/WTA event held annually in Cincinnati. Beemok Capital is led by Ben Navarro, a billionaire entrepreneur from South Carolina. In 2022, Navarro acquired the Cincinnati tournament from the United States Tennis Association and also possesses ownership of a WTA event staged in Charleston, South Carolina.
The fate of the Western & Southern Open, which could potentially relocate to Charlotte, is expected to be decided this summer. If all goes according to plan, the inaugural tournament at the proposed Charlotte complex would take place in 2026 upon its completion.
Should Charlotte successfully secure the coveted tennis event, it would diversify its sports landscape, which already includes prominent teams such as the NFL's Carolina Panthers, the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, the PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship, and two NASCAR Cup Series races. The NHL's Carolina Hurricanes play their home games at Raleigh's PNC Arena. Additionally, Charlotte annually hosts the Duke's Mayo Bowl and college football kickoff games featuring renowned teams from the ACC and SEC conferences.
The Spectrum Center, home to the Charlotte Hornets, has previously hosted NCAA and ACC tournament games, further establishing Charlotte's reputation as a sports destination. Notably, the esteemed Quail Hollow Golf Club has hosted the PGA Championship and the President's Cup in the past, contributing to the city's rich sporting heritage.
With the proposed tennis complex, Charlotte aims to enhance its sporting appeal and offer tennis enthusiasts a world-class venue to showcase top-tier professional matches. The city eagerly anticipates the decision regarding the Western & Southern Open, as it would mark a significant milestone in solidifying Charlotte's position as a premier destination for both athletes and sports enthusiasts alike.