Massaro announces kickoff of campaign for new indoor tennis facility

Facility will be 47,000 square feet

April 17, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - In the never-ending effort to provide first-class facilities for each and every varsity sport at Middle Tennessee, Blue Raider Director of Athletics Chris Massaro is announcing the official start of a campaign to provide a state-of-the-art indoor tennis facility to be built in the Murfreesboro area.

The project, which is part of the University's $80 million Centennial Campaign announced April 13, has already taken off, thanks to a jump-start from the family of the late Carolyn Reeves (MTSU ’63, ‘72, ’91), who was an avid tennis player. The family requested, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made toward building the MTSU Indoor Tennis Center.

Knowing how much she loved tennis and the University, friends of Ms. Reeves did as she requested, with her children, Shane (MTSU, ’91) and Marsha, getting the campaign underway with a donation toward the fund. The family has also made a commitment for another gift that will be made at a later date.

“Rutherford County has needed a first class indoor tennis facility for a long time,” said Shane Reeves. “My sister, Marsha, and I both know that Mom would be thrilled that she is playing a big part in getting this project started.”

The University, working with the Blue Raider Athletic Association, is engaging supporters to fund the six-court facility for the Middle Tennessee men’s and women’s tennis teams, and for the general public to use as well. Discussions have been ongoing with the City of Murfreesboro concerning land, as well as the possibility of it being an on-campus venue.

President Sidney A. McPhee said the University has collaborated successfully with the city in past projects, including enhancements and faciliites that helped secure TSSAA prep sports tournaments and lure tourist dollars.

"One of the four priorities of our Centennial Campaign is to raise money to help us compete at the highest level of athletics," McPhee said. "I am hopeful that this effort by athletics, as part of our overall campaign effort, will garner strong support from donors and partners."

“The city of Auburn, Alabama and Auburn University has such a partnership, and it is a win-win situation for everyone, “Massaro declared. “Presently, our teams practice and play indoor tennis in Davidson County, so this facility will provide a tremendous local venue.”

Blue Raider men’s tennis coach Jimmy Borendame, and women’s tennis coach Shelley Godwin, believe a new tennis center would make a big difference in their programs.

“I’ve been dreaming about what it would be like to have indoor tennis courts locally, and the impact it would have on our tennis program at Middle Tennessee and in Murfreesboro would be enormous. As far as recruiting is concerned, it would put us in the ball game for every top tier recruit. We’d no longer have to answer questions about where we play indoor tennis, or what do we do when it rains. That will make a huge difference,” said Borendame.

The proposed facility, which Middle Tennessee would build, is scheduled to be nearly 47,000 square ft., and consist of six courts, locker rooms for men and women, a lobby, a viewing area for spectators, a laundry room and an electronic scoreboard. There are numerous naming opportunities available, such as the courts, locker room, grandstand, lobby, plaza, and even the facility itself.

This beautiful facility would allow Murfreesboro/Rutherford County to host ITA and TSSAA tournaments, and numerous other events that would provide new tax revenue to the city and county.

Associate Athletic Director Alan Farley, having grown up with Shane Reeves, had known Carolyn Reeves for years, calling her a “special person that loved her family and tennis.”

“She would be proud to know that so many people gave money in her name to promote the sport of tennis. She has kick-started this project because her family and friends have stepped forward to make substantial gifts to the campaign. We currently have $600,000 on hand, plus some pledges that will be paid out over the next few years. Our goal is to raise as much money as we can up front, then secure pledge commitments for the rest.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the Middle Tennessee Indoor Tennis Fund, or wanting more information on it, should contact Alan Farley at 615-898-2210.

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