KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A juniors tennis competition that has been held in Kalamazoo for decades is being moved to Florida this year.
Kalamazoo College told the U.S. Tennis Association it couldn’t host the 2020 Boys’ 18s National Championships, citing concerns implementing about coronavirus health safety protocols.
“We felt like as we moved forward, the safety of the community was not ensured, so we had to make a really tough choice,” tournament director Mark Riley told News 8 in a video call Wednesday.
“Despite the more than 70 years of history of hosting this premier event in Kalamazoo, the USTA unfortunately had no choice but to seek an alternate location in order to successfully host the 2020 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships in the safest possible manner,” the USTA said in a release.
The event, scheduled to run Aug. 7 to Aug. 16, will now be held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
Riley said a contract to hold the tournament at Kalamazoo College in 2021 and 2022 was recently renewed, so the event should be back next year.
“(The tournament is) part of our identity,” he said. “We’ve been doing it since World War II. It’s part of who we are.”