Tennis Tournament Serves Up Big for Dothan

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- If you're trying to get a tennis court this weekend forget it. 600 players from across the state are in Dothan competing for a spot at USTA Mixed Doubles Regionals, and between matches, they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tennis tournaments serve up $1.5 million in visitor spending each year. Dothan has hosted this tournament for 20 years and it's been a big win for the city.

"This is the kind of tournament that makes Dothan money," said Kim Meeker, Dothan Leisure Services Asst. Director.

A quarter of a million dollars’ worth of money -

"We bring so many people that come to have fun they aren't coming here for points. They are coming because they want to have a great time and they don't mind spending a little money while they do it," said Meeker.

Visit Dothan President Aaron McCreight says tennis is a great niche market.

"They are sleeping in our hotels, they are eating in our restaurants, shopping in our shops, they are downtown, and on the Circle, they are everywhere,” said McCreight,

And what makes this tournament different?

"They are only playing so many matches a day and there's a lot of downtime and time to go out and explore and maybe this time there wasn't enough time to get to this time but maybe next weekend you come on your own," said McCreight.

David Bradford lives in Birmingham. He plans on being here again soon.

"We come down for the tournament every year and we've seen it's neat place and we come back to visit," said Bradford.

McCreight says that this is a huge sports weekend for Dothan. Along with tennis tournaments, baseball and softball tournaments are also bringing in big bucks.