WODONGA Tennis Centre will be vying for some Australian Open lead-up action next year when a million dollar courts upgrade is completed in March.
Contractors will be on site in December to begin the job of resurrecting 10 clay courts that will form part of a major regional tennis hub featuring international standard plexicushion courts.
Designs and costings are being finalised ahead of work starting.
Wodonga councillor Anna Speedie said yesterday an economic boost of close to $3 million annually from tennis was expected when the redevelopment was finished.
“The club can start attracting more high and national rating events and even international ones,” she said yesterday.
“It means the facility can be utilised through the winter period.
“We estimate events currently held by the tennis centre inject at least $1.5 million into the local economy.
“We expect another $1.2 million can be injected with additional events as a result of the new types of courts.
“This is about lifting the courts and facilities up to national and international standard for training and event hosting.”
Plexicushion is the court surface used at the Australian Open, one of the nation’s four major annual tournaments.
The 10 plexicushion courts will be floodlit and have new fencing.
Wodonga already has 30 high quality grass courts and eight synthetic courts.
The club was unsuccessful in its application for a Davis Cup tie last year, but earlier this year hosted Country Week bringing a major economic boost to Albury-Wodonga.
The Victorian government is the largest contributor to funding for the courts upgrade, committing $524,700 through its community facility funding program in the major facilities category.
The council has contributed $345,000 and the tennis centre $180,000.
A project committee consisting of representatives from Wodonga Tennis Centre, Wodonga Council, Tennis Australia, Tennis Victoria and the state government has been formed.
The tennis centre upgrade will be undertaken at the same time the council is fine-tuning its plans for the Baranduda Fields sporting complex.