This weekend, some of the best tennis players in the world will come to Belmont to play a match in the Curb Event Center arena as part of the Davis Cup.
The match, between the U.S. and Belgium, is a quarterfinal qualifying match for the Davis Cup, which is known as the “World Cup of Tennis.”
The university learned of the opportunity to host the matches when alumni and former Belmont tennis player J. Wayne Richmond contacted Belmont’s men’s basketball coach Rick Byrd. Richmond works as the USTA management director of major events.
“When we had the opportunity to bring the Davis Cup to the U.S., the first call I made was to coach Byrd and I said, ‘Coach, can we fit that court into that stadium and make it work?’” said Richmond, according to an article in The Tennessean.
Coach Byrd then proposed the idea to University President Dr. Robert Fisher, who reached out to the Nashville Sports Council and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. to partner and submit a proposal to host the matches, said John Carney, Belmont’s director of marketing and public relations.
“The Davis Cup event gives us an opportunity to showcase Belmont and Nashville to a new audience. We are honored to have been selected and will do our best to deliver a first class experience to the players and fans,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, according to an article posted by the university.
The last time the Davis Cup was in Nashville was when Vanderbilt University hosted a match in 1978, 40 years ago. This year’s event will bring even more attention to Belmont and the city of Nashville.
The three-day-long tournament will begin Friday and will be broadcast live by the Tennis Channel.
In order to host the Davis Cup, Belmont first had to construct a tennis court in the Curb Event Center. The process for building the court started Saturday, so that the teams have a few days before the tournament starts to begin practicing.
Since the event is taking place in the Curb Event Center, the Curb and Johnson parking garages will be reserved for Davis Cup attendees from Thursday night through Saturday.
To minimize the impact on students, all faculty and staff will be parking off campus on Friday, so commuter students can park in the Ayers, Inman and McWhorter garages. Residential students who park in Johnson will also park in a different location for the weekend.
The Curb Event Center arena, Maddox Grand Atrium and Beaman Student Life Center will also be closed from 8 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday.
Because students won’t be able to access the Fitness and Recreation Center at Belmont, the university has made arrangements for students to have access to Centennial Sportsplex, Results Fitness, Green Hills YMCA, GetFit615 and SHED Fitness Gulch.
Check back on the Vision website and social media for daily updates on the Davis Cup.
This article written by Caitlin Alexander