By Kevin Bilodeau | October 14, 2020 at 10:41 AM EDT - Updated October 14 at 10:41 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Volvo Car Stadium is set to undergo extensive upgrades in 2021 Charleston Tennis LLC announced on Wednesday morning.
The renovations are being funded by owners Ben and Kelly Navarro as a gift to the City of Charleston.
According to a release from the LLC, 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.
“I first fell in love with the tennis tournament on Daniel Island in 2004, when I attended with my four young kids. I remember that we only had four seats in the stadium back then so my youngest daughter would sit on my lap. Fifteen years later I found myself at the Kenny Chesney concert realizing it was the best concert of my life. I knew at that moment that we had to do something special with the stadium,” Ben Navarro said in a statement. “We’ve come up with a plan that maintains its intimacy while also modernizing the facility. We are excited to be working with the city to re-imagine Volvo Car Stadium and create an exceptional space for locals and visitors to experience world-class entertainment in Charleston.”
“Ben and Kelly Navarro’s donation to fund the renovation of the Volvo Car Stadium on Daniel Island is just the latest in a long list of examples of their generosity and unwavering support of the Charleston community,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement. “This renovation will dramatically enhance the experience of both players and visitors, draw in world-class performances and inspire local young athletes who are coming up through the ranks. On behalf of the citizens of Charleston, I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Navarro family for this remarkable gift, and I look forward to getting started.”
Construction will begin after final city approvals, with an anticipated project completion in the fall of 2021. For the 2021 tournament, which will take place April 3-11, the Volvo Car Open will construct a temporary stadium on its current Althea Gibson Club Court. The temporary stadium will provide seating for up to 3,000 fans per session and create an intimate atmosphere to host world-class tennis.
“We are beyond excited with what this state of the art, world-class facility will become as a result of this renovation,” said Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open Tournament Director. “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 committed to operating the Volvo Car Open in April of 2021. 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."
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