Grants for tennis courts and lighting

Grants and Funding Options for Tennis Court Construction and LED lighting

grants for tennis

This comprehensive guide explores the various grants and funding opportunities available for developing tennis courts and installing efficient lighting systems. Covering a range of sources from local sports organizations to national bodies, it provides valuable insights for community groups, schools, and sports clubs seeking financial support to enhance their tennis facilities.

Whether you’re looking to build a new court or upgrade existing infrastructure with modern lighting, this article outlines the key steps to securing the necessary funds, making tennis court projects more accessible and sustainable.

US Tennis Association Grants and Funding Assistance

The United States Tennis Association, or USTA, provides competitive grants to facilities that satisfy certain requirements, detailed in the following categories:

  • Category I: This category covers basic improvements to facilities, including enhancements to fixed tennis court amenities like backboards, windscreens, smart court technology, etc. It also encompasses the addition of blended lines for 36’ and 60’ tennis courts on existing surfaces. The USTA offers funding for up to 50% of the total project cost, with a maximum of $5,000.

  • Category II: This includes resurfacing existing 36’, 60’, and 78’ tennis courts, converting 78’ courts into standalone 36’ courts, and fencing. The USTA’s contribution here can also cover up to 50% of the total project cost. The maximum funding varies based on the number of courts: $5,000 to $12,500 for 2-3 courts, $12,500 to $25,000 for 4-8 courts, and $25,000 to $35,000 for projects involving 9 or more courts.

  • Category III: This category is for new construction or the reconstruction of existing facilities for 36′, 60′, and 78′ courts, including lighting. The USTA contributes up to 50% of the total project cost, up to a maximum of $55,000. The funding varies with the number of courts involved: $15,000 to $25,000 for 2-3 courts, $25,000 to $40,000 for 4-8 courts.

The process starts with the project submitting their need for financial assistance to the USTA. Within a few days, the project is contacted to have a discussion about the scope of work needed. The association will also review the job to make sure it complies with player safety, and construction standards, among other factors. USTA National will review the grant, request input from its local representatives who surveyed the project and respond within a month. Shortly after that time frame, funding is announced and released as the work is being done.


US Open Legacy Initiative

The US Open Legacy Initiative, established in honor of Coco Gauff’s triumph at the 2023 US Open women’s singles, marks the USTA’s commitment to refurbishing tennis courts nationwide. This initiative specifically focuses on resurfacing grants, offering an enhanced contribution of 15% above the usual funding provided by the Tennis Venue Services (TVS). Notably, the initiative is exclusively available for public facilities.

Key aspects of the US Open Legacy Initiative include an internal review by the USTA, assessing the viability of the area for each project. Facilities that successfully secure funding through this initiative will be awarded a commemorative plaque celebrating Coco Gauff’s 2023 US Open victory, adding a special touch of recognition to the project.

For those interested in applying for this initiative, the USTA directs applicants to utilize the Tennis Venue Services inquiry form. This streamlined process allows public facilities to seek support for their resurfacing projects under this prestigious and commemorative program.

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Other US Tennis Association Services

In addition to donating money to schools and facilities for construction purposes, the USTA also provides additional valuable services relating to court construction. Professional consultants from the USTA staff can provide guidance on budget forecasting, business plan review, and highlight operational needs for a project. They can also help assess issues including but not limited to playing surface wear and tear, lighting, construction cost-saving methods, and drainage plans. Consultations can even include digital infrastructure upgrades, such as creating programs to help keep track of financial transactions, manage court bookings, and to promote the facility with e-mail marketing to potential consumers.

The best thing about the consultative services is that they are free to the project, whereas alternative advice may cost an exorbitant amount of money. The estimated value for two technical reviews of a project is $3,275 as it relates to advocacy/programming with technical services. An artistic rendering-focused consultation by a USTA professional has an approximately $10,000 value, for a review of 12 or more courts in a complex. These would seem to be worthwhile options for projects that are on a strict budget.

Consult a Tennis Court Lighting Company

Before applying for tennis court lighting grants, it’s essential to consult with sports lighting companies. These experts have a comprehensive understanding of the latest lighting technologies, installation expenses, and potential energy savings. By collaborating with them, tennis facilities can secure precise estimates and solutions that meet grant criteria. Additionally, these professionals can highlight the long-term advantages of particular lighting systems, enhancing the strength of grant applications. Therefore, to maximize the chances of securing funding, facilities should first connect with sports lighting specialists.

Pro tip: If you are currently looking for a reliable and knowledgeable sports lighting vendor, try our sports lighting partner finder and get connected with suitable lighting partners. 

Alternative Tennis Grants and Funding Options

Even though it would make sense to go straight to the tennis experts in the USTA to receive grants and advice on how to optimize a project, there is another option to consider as well. The Land and Water Conservation Fund(LWCF) is another organization that has become a resource for funding outdoor projects, including, but not limited to the construction of tennis courts.

All 50 states can receive money from the LWCF if they are up to date with their Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan(SCORP). Each state has different rules when it comes to applying for a grant, but the two main types offered are the Traditional/Formula State grant and the Competitive State grant. Once states receive money from the LWCF, they look to disburse that funding based on the types of initiatives they have communicated in their SCORP. If a project’s scope and goal match up well with the state’s reasoning to receive that funding, it stands a better chance of being awarded financial assistance.

In order for a project to start the application process, they must contact their LWSF state representative. Entities that are eligible to apply for assistance are cities, towns, countries, Native American tribes, regional park authorities, and state agencies. 

Kick Off Your LED Sports Lighting Project

We’ve created a comprehensive set of tools designed to assist facility managers and project planners in initiating their projects and connect them with the professionals in the industry.

Calculate the costs of your Tennis Court or Lighting installation project at an early stage

Before you apply for tennis court construction or LED sports lighting grants it is a good idea to get an idea of how much your project will cost overall. In fact, this is an essential piece of information as with some grants the project will have to match the grant or financial support offered. 

Read more in our complete guides: 

If you feel like you have had enough of reading already, you can skip the guides and use our cost calculators directly:

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