The Volvo Car Open will return to the Charleston area for the 20th year next month. The all-female tennis tournament is scheduled for April 4-12 at the Volvo Car Stadium on Daniel Island.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the tournament has had a tremendous impact both on Daniel Island and on the city of Charleston.
When the opportunity for the tournament first came to the city about 22 years ago, he was serving as the economic development director in Charleston. And when the first tournament was held, Tecklenburg was operating a retail business, Tecklenburg Market Cafe, on Daniel Island. So he said he understands the impact tournaments like the Volvo Car Open have on small businesses in Charleston and on Daniel Island.
“We’re just excited to remain partners with the tournament and provide the facility for it to occur,” Tecklenburg said. “It’s a terrific event.”
Volvo Car Stadium is owned by the city of Charleston. Tecklenburg said the city is committed not only to its partnership with the tournament, but also to promoting health and wellness and the sport of tennis overall.
“So this promotes young people to play tennis and get involved in the sport, and health and wellness aspect, and recreation,” Tecklenburg said. “So it’s the economy, it’s health and wellness, it’s recreation. It’s just a partnership that we value and will continue our commitment.”
Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the organization loves the camaraderie and the feeling the tournament has created and the excitement about what it does for economic development.
“Over the last 20 years, our team at Explore Charleston, with the regional development alliance, entertained so many prospects at this tournament because you have the opportunity to see what makes Charleston, South Carolina, so special,” Hill said.
The Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. About 90,000 spectators attend every year.
Volvo Car Open President Bob Moran said it is important for the tournament to have an economic impact and to give back. The tournament gave about $125,000 in cash to various charities last year, Moran said, and has given more that $4 million to MUSC Children’s Hospital over the past 10 years.
“It’s important for us to be part of this community, not just being here during that week, because we’re here 365 days a year and really committed to helping in any way we can,” Moran said.
Madison Keys, champion of the 2019 tournament, will be returning to play this year, ass well as more than 20 other tennis players from around the world. Credit: Charleston Regional Business Journal
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