What A Racket again awarded contract to run tennis center
What A Racket will be running the Ridgeland Tennis Center for another four years. Officials recently approved the company’s bid to continue running the center after their contract expired earlier this year. What A Racket, which has run the center for the past 17 years, was the only bidder for the renewed contract.
Co-directors Susan Toler and Cheryl Harris own What A Racket.
“It’s essentially been the same people for more than 17 years,” Chris Chance, director of parks and recreation for Ridgeland, said in a previous Sun article. “There’s been changes in partners but the people have stayed the same.”
The company’s role for the center includes running operations, providing tennnis pros, and managing tournaments and leagues.
Ridgeland Tennis Center was built in 1992 with 12 courts. In 1994, five more courts were added.
It costs $3 per person to book a court for an hour and a half.
High school teams from Madison Central, St. Joseph Catholic School, and Ridgeland High School use the facility for their practices.
“We’re busy out here but I don’t think there are any plans (to add more courts),” said Toler. “We stay booked.”
Toler said there are anywhere from five to nine tournaments per year, attended by at least 300 people per event.
“We bid on the tournaments ourselves through USTA (United States Tennis Association)… We have level three southern tournaments that we bid on and were awarded to us. There are only a certain number in the South, and we have three of them here at the center.”
The center also hosts the regional wheelchair tournament, while USTA Mississippi Tennis uses the facility for state and sectional tournaments.
Leagues at the Ridgeland Tennis Center include the JLTA (Jackson Ladies Tennis Association), USTA night leagues, and junior team tennis leagues.
“We have national and southern tournaments, six pros, and offer private and group lessons,” said Toler.