RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — The developers are calling it “the Disney World for Racquet Sports.”
The Swing Racquet & Paddle complex will be the world’s largest facility, and it’s going to make Raleigh its home.
“This was actually supposed to be a future site of a truck depot for the City of Raleigh,” explained Rob Autry, the founder and CEO of Swing Racquet & Paddle.
But the 45 acres off of Mount Herman Road will soon be so much more.
“It’s going to have nearly 100 courts for tennis, pickleball, paddle, ping pong,” said Jason DeGroff, the President of the company.
Specifically, the plan is for the complex to have 29 tennis courts (including clay and hard), 24 pickleball courts, 16 paddle courts, 12 ping pong tables and four beach tennis/volleyball courts.
There will also be a restaurant and bar, an international training academy and access to the nearby Greenway trail.
The goal is for Swing Racquet & Paddle to be a place for people to come together.
“We want it to be the anti-country club. It’s for everybody,” said DeGroff. “We want the accessibility there for all walks of life.”
Right now, officials plan to have three tiers of entry: a drop-in rate, a subscription service and a full membership.
Autry has been working on this dream for years.
He wanted to create a “sports-tainment” facility. Autry believes Swing will be the perfect place to combine avid tennis players with a place to come and socialize, while also creating a fun environment for new players.
After a couple of pandemic-related delays, the $70 million project is finally going to be a reality.
Local developer John Kane has also gotten involved as an investor in the complex.
“We cannot find another facility like this in the world,” said Autry. “Raleigh is a really, really vibrant racquet sport community. Between tennis and pickleball, there are just not enough courts. So, we’re going to do something about that.”
He told CBS 17 there haven’t been any new tennis facilities built in the area in the last 20 years, even though more and more people are picking up a racquet.
Autry said according to the US Tennis Association, the Triangle area has the fourth highest concentration of tennis players.
But the team also hopes Swing will bring new players to the court.
“We want to bring more young people to the game. Particularly to the game of tennis. It hasn’t changed much in about 100 years, and it’s not really relevant to the young consumer,” said DeGroff. “We’re actually going to build racquet sports fans.”
Eventually, they plan to host local, national and even international tournaments on-site to make Raleigh a tennis destination.
“In our first-year projections, we have a million people visiting this campus,” said DeGroff. “So, it’s a big boom for us, the city, the economic impact, the food/beverage, and hotel/motel component. It’s going to be great for everyone.”
Developers plan to break ground in early 2023 and open their doors in late 2024.
DeGroff told CBS 17 they hope this is just the first, flag-ship complex. They want to expand and grow to other locations in the future.