Award-Winning Facility Provides Opportunity

April 21, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa Recreation Services opened the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in July 2006. Since the grand opening, the facility has received recognition as the USTA Iowa District and USTA Missouri Valley Facility of the Year.

The complex is home to four of Iowa’s athletic teams, including men’s and women’s tennis, women’s soccer, and women’s field hockey. Each sport is equipped with locker rooms for the home and visiting teams as well as offices for coaches and an athletic training room. It provides great opportunities for the competitors of each sport, boasting eight indoor tennis courts and 12 lighted outdoor tennis courts. The soccer and field hockey teams enjoy an expansive indoor turf area covering 24,000 square feet as well as the convenience of close proximity to their outdoor fields.

Although the HTRC is beneficial for the student athletes on those teams, it is also beneficial to other students and the general public. The fitness west training area covers 3,000 square feet and provides the optimal training experience with treadmills, stair climbers, elliptical, weight machines, free weights and plenty of space for people of all ability to train and work out.

“The facility is a great tool for bringing the community together with the Iowa teams,” Michelle Conlon, Recreation Services Tennis Director, said. “The patrons get to know the student athletes and likewise, the student-athletes get to know people in the community. We hope, with all of the junior and adult players from around the area and Midwest who come to play at the HTRC, that this is a wonderful recruiting tool not only for the tennis teams, but for the entire university.”

Athletes of all ages can find a home at the HTRC with the wealth of facilities available. In addition to the courts, turf and exercise equipment available, the Touch the Earth Outdoor Rental office is connected for those who enjoy a more rugged experience. Camping equipment, bikes, canoes and much more can be rented for summer excursions.

One of the main draws to the complex is the many opportunities available for tennis enthusiasts. Lessons are offered to anyone over the age of three. There many leagues and fundraising events held at the facility each year. University of Iowa club teams practice and play there. Courts are available for reservations for students, faculty, staff and the general public. Championship events including the Iowa High School Girls State Tennis Tournament, USTA Midlands Junior and Adult Open, Iowa Conference Championships, 2008 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Championships and the upcoming 2010 Big Ten Women’s Tennis Championships.

“I was absolutely excited when I came here to be able to use this facility,” said Iowa’s Head Women’s Tennis Coach Katie Dougherty. “The first time I came here a couple of years ago I thought it was probably the premier indoor facility in the Big Ten, and the twelve outdoor lighted courts are perfect for hosting championship caliber events.”

All of these features offer an ideal opportunity for the public, the university’s students and faculty, and the student athletes to interact. The student athletes and coaches are given the space and facilities necessary to put together championship teams. With indoor and outdoor capacity, the teams can adjust to their needs as they prepare for upcoming competition, train in the off season, and play for fun.

“The opening of the HTRC reflects outstanding efforts by our athletic department and the Department of Recreational Services as well as the architectural and design teams,” said Iowa’s Head Men’s Tennis Coach Steve Houghton. “The facility has already greatly enhanced our men’s and women’s programs and has provided a great venue for the university and local tennis community.”