By Arielle Alpino for The Island Eye News
Volvo Car Stadium, a 20-year-old Charleston owned facility on Daniel Island, is scheduled for a major makeover.
Charleston Tennis LLC, the parent company of Volvo Car Stadium, the Volvo Car Open and LTP Daniel Island, has announced plans, in partnership with the city, to renovate and modernize the stadium. Extensive upgrades that are expected to enhance the chances of attracting worldclass athletes and performers to Daniel Island are on the horizon. The renovations will be funded by Ben and Kelly Navarro, the owners of Charleston Tennis LLC, as a gift to the city of Charleston.
“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,” said Ben Navarro.
“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.”
The new plan features a multistory “stage house” that will include player wellness facilities such as 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 is to serve as the foundation for a new permanent canopy structure that will provide shade for tennis fans 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%; upgrades to the concession offerings; architectural lighting; and an elevated boardwalk underneath the stadium’s grand oaks that will protect their root system but allow for patrons to enjoy new programming under the trees’ vast canopies.
“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,” said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg. “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.”
Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. The 2021 tournament, scheduled for April 3 through April 11, will take place in a temporary stadium that will be constructed on its current Althea Gibson Club Court.
Seating will be available for up to 3,000 fans per session.
“We are beyond excited with what this state of the art, world class facility will become as a result of this renovation,” said Volvo Car Open Tournament Director Bob Moran. “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,” he added.
The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. Tickets for the 2021 tournament will go on sale to the general public on Nov. 13.