Chicago’s Sorry USTA Tournament Scene
If you’re a regular reader of the Four5 Project (and who isn’t?) you’ll know that I have been spending most of my time in Chicago for the last few months. I’m spending the weekend here for the first time in a while and am going to play in a USTA tennis tournament so I can actually get out and play. I have a couple people that I get out and hit with when I’m here, but not as frequently as I would like.
In researching tournaments here in Chicago, I found it interesting that participation in USTA tournaments is incredibly low. There are tournaments around the Chicagoland area almost every weekend, but some draws are cancelled because only 2 people will sign up – and some tourneys are cancelled altogether. This is surprising to me because Tennis is pretty big here – at least it was when I was in High School. And this is the 3rd largest market in the country. How could little ol’ Denver be attracting more people than a huge market like Chicago? Same can be said about Texas.
So my question is: what is the USTA doing about this? Most of the tournaments are held over a weekend, which I prefer, but maybe people would participate more if they were more spread out and played on weeknights, like they do in Colorado? Maybe it’s a marketing problem and people don’t know about the tournaments?
How is the tournament scene in your area? What would you do to make it better?