USTA Junior Nationals Leaving Kalamazoo For 2020
Add the United State Tennis Association Junior Nationals to the list of sporting events affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. A report in the Detroit News says Kalamazoo College officials have told the USTA they weren't confident they could meet safety requirements in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The majority of matches are played at Stowe Stadium at K-College, with some matches at Western Michigan University and others played in Portage.
According to the story, the Boys 18 tournament will be played at the USTA National Tennis Campus in Orlando, Florida. Winning that title brings with it an invitation to the U.S. Open in late August and early September, which according to reports, will be played without fans, this year. The Boys 16 tournament will be moved to Mobile, Alabama. The dates for the tournament will stay the the same as was planned for Kalamazoo. As of now, the plan is for the change of venue to be only for 2020.
The tournament has been in Kalamazoo since 1943, and has hosted some of the biggest name in tennis in the past 75- plus years. A list of past participants could fill a Hall of Fame wing; names like Arthur Ashe (whose name is on the U.S.Open stadium in New York City), Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver, Andre Aggasi, past champion Michael Chang, and more recently, Andy Roddick. The USTABoys.com website has a long history of the tournament, including many firsts during its time in Kalamazoo.
The News story says the economic impact of the tournament on Kalamazoo is about a million dollars.