Some of the state’s best tennis players, and teams, will be in town at the start of the week to take part in the annual MHSAA tennis championships. For the second straight year, the Oxford Park Commission’s FNC Tennis Center/John Leslie Courts will play host to a portion of those championships.
On Monday, teams from Class 1-2A, 3A and 5A will battle each other for the title, while the individual championships in those same classes will be crowned on Wednesday. In between all the volleys and serves on the courts, the City of Oxford is looking to entertain the teams, coaches and families associated with the tournament.
Mary Allyn Hedges, the Director of Visit Oxford, was preparing to roll out the red carpet for those coming to town to cheer on their sons and daughters.
“Having people come to visit, especially during the beginning and middle of the week, is really great for our hotels and our businesses in town,” Hedges said. “The tennis community always shows up and brings a big crowd. And because of our great facilities, people are excited to come to Oxford.”
The traffic increase last year when the tournament first came to town was noticeable, Hedges said.
“We saw people out on the Square and probably some people extended their stay maybe coming in on Sunday night, which is our slowest night of the week for hotels,” she added. “I think it helps and with high school students especially, they bring the family. The impact is great for Oxford.”
Timing is everything when planning events and this year’s tournament comes at a perfect point on the calendar, right between the Double Decker Arts Festival and The University of Mississippi’s annual graduation.
“I feel like it’s the calm before the weekend graduation storm. It’s kind of nice to generate some extra business leading up to another big weekend,” Hedges said. “It’s definitely welcomed business for people.”
With Ole Miss being so closely connected with Oxford, there are number of educational opportunities that correspond to tourism for the students, and their families, to share in together during their stay.
“They can go to Rowan Oak or go to Square Books and catch a book signing or tour the university,” Hedges said. “This might be a first opportunity for a lot of these students to come to Oxford and see the campus. Maybe it will turn into an official college visit for rising high school seniors and those that are considering coming to Ole Miss. Hopefully it will generate repeat business back to Oxford after the tournament. We’re excited to have these students from around the state come to Oxford. I look forward to seeing them.”
For more information and updates on results from the tournament, follow @oxfordparksrec on Twitter, Oxfordparks on Instagram and www.facebook.com/oxfordparkcommission. For those wishing to stop into Visit Oxford, their office can be found just off the Square at 1013 Jackson Ave. East. Their website is https://visitoxfordms.com.
Courtesy of John Davis and the Oxford Park Commission
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