CHARLESTON, SC, USA - Volvo Car Open tournament director Bob Moran revealed plans for the Premier event to return to the WTA calendar in 2021.
“We are committed to operating the Volvo Car Open in April of 2021,” Moran said. “We will follow all health and safety guidelines set forth by governmental agencies at that time. As of now, our team is working as if we are moving forward with our normal preparation cycle for the tournament.
"With that said, we will be planning for multiple variations of what the event could be with the overarching premise that the health and safety of our fans, players, volunteers, partners and staff will be our top priority.”
Canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moran further outlined a renovation project to the Volvo Car Stadium, typically the tournament's center court.
“We are beyond excited with what this state of the art, world-class facility will become as a result of this renovation,” Moran told the Post and Courier. “We can’t imagine a better way of celebrating our 50th year of tennis in 2022 and look forward to showing off the new facilities to our players, fans, partners and volunteers.”
We are excited to announce plans to renovate & modernize the @volvocarstadium! Our 20-year-old city-owned facility will undergo upgrades to enhance the stadium experience, allowing the stadium to attract world-class entertainment. ✨ #chs #VolvoCarOpen— Volvo Car Open (@VolvoCarOpen) October 14, 2020
👉 https://t.co/2yWVmiHwPd pic.twitter.com/MPSEQCJ1Bl
With play centered on a temporarily upgraded Althea Gibson Court - set to set up to 3,000 spectators, the Volvo Car Stadium is scheduled to finish renovations in time for the 2022 edition of the tournament, which coincides with its 50th anniversary.
“We’ve come up with a plan that maintains its intimacy while also modernizing the facility," says Charleston businessman Ben Navarro, who is funding the renovation alongside his wife Kelly as a gift to the City of Charleston. "We are excited to be working with the city to reimagine Volvo Car Stadium and create an exceptional space for locals and visitors to experience world-class entertainment in Charleston.”
The new plan features a multi-story “Stage House” that will house player wellness facilities including premium locker rooms, physical therapy and exercise space as well as back of house media and production and food preparation areas, plus a VIP Club level overlooking Center Court. This building will serve as the foundation for a new permanent canopy structure that will provide south side shade for tennis fans and critical stage infrastructure and weather protection for musical and theatrical performances.
Other changes include an overall refresh of the façade and concourse, enclosing the corners of the upper tier to create a more intimate bowl atmosphere; new premium hospitality suites, increasing permanent bathrooms by 130 percent, upgrades to the concession offerings, IT and architectural lighting as well as the construction of an elevated boardwalk underneath the stadium’s Grand Oaks that will protect their root system but allow for patron’s to enjoy new programming under the tree’s vast canopies.
The Volvo Car Open last took place in 2019, when Madison Keys won her first career clay court title, ousting former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final.
The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. The event attracts an average of 90,000 attendees and more than 100 of the top singles and doubles tennis players to Charleston every year. Tickets for the 2021 tournament will go on sale to the general public on November 13. Patrons have the option to choose from individual tickets and ticket packages. For more information on the tournament and ticket options, visit volvocaropen.com or call 843.856.7900.