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  • James Clotfelter

Dan Magill Tennis Complex - Georgia Bulldogs



Photos by James Clotfelter, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Dan Magill Tennis Complex 518 D W Brooks Athens, GA 30605

Year Opened: 2002 Capacity: 5,000


Tennis In The Classic City

Many outside the college tennis world do not know that the University of Georgia has a rich tennis history. The university consistently produces ATP and WTA talent and has accumulated two women's and six men's national championships. The Dan Magill Tennis Complex itself has hosted a total of 24 men’s championships and three women’s championships. This 12-court outdoor court and 6-court indoor court facility is the crown jewel of the collegiate tennis landscape.


Food & Beverage   3

One cashless concession stand serves the main outdoor court and one serves the indoor courts. Expect the basics of small stadium foods like hot dogs, burgers, chips, and candy. In terms of drinks, water and Coca-Cola products, including PowerAde, are all provided and bottled. Domestic beer and imports can also be purchased at the concession stand. They are also served with a UGA-branded souvenir cup.

 

Atmosphere   4

The outdoor complex hosts six courts: courts 1–3 are covered by the main stand, and courts 4–6 run along a grass terrace. The main stand is split into two levels: the lower level has chairbacks, and the upper level has bleacher seating. Every ticket to the main stand is general admission, so it is first come, first served for the chairbacks. Across from the main stand appears to be a terrace with shaded, high-top seating, presumably reserved for team dinners. To the left of the main stand, parallel to court one is the player clubhouse with more exclusive shaded seating. The concourse in the main stand splits the two levels and holds the concession stand along with restrooms. Outside the concourse, little gardens and flowers are sprinkled throughout the complex, creating a pleasant atmosphere.  



There is a scoreboard slightly past court 3 that gives the scores on all six courts as well as the total team scores. Those unfamiliar with the college game will be surprised to learn that fans can make noise during the game. While the umpires may tell the fans to relax if it gets excessive, the students like to get into the action, occasionally engaging in some banter with the opposing team and some instigation from the Georgia players. This intimate environment also allows fans to hear back and forth between players and their opponents, players and the umpire, and players talking to themselves. 


The entrance to the indoor facility sits right across the street from the Carlton Street Parking Deck adjacent to the outdoor courts. These courts will only be used if weather forces the event to be moved inside. It consists of a much smaller capacity than its outdoor companion, with three humble rows of supported bleachers running along all six of its courts. Each court contains its scoreboard located on the wall across from the bleachers, and a master scoreboard sits at the head of the building. 


Neighborhood   4

The tennis complex is located in the same lot as Stegman Coliseum (men's and women's basketball and gymnastics) and Foley Field (basketball). It is an on-campus facility, so if it is your first time visiting UGA, be sure to take a stroll around a campus that is regarded as one of the most beautiful ones in the country. Popular on-campus attractions include the athletic facilities, Tate Student Center, the UGA bookstore, and North Campus, which holds the oldest buildings of the first public university in the country.  


Athens is regarded as one of the best college towns in America. With downtown being adjacent to the north campus, students and visitors are steps away from local shops, restaurants, and bar options. The best time to stroll downtown Athens for the first time would be during the day before the nightlife crowd hits downtown. The Five Points neighborhood holds some great, quitter food options like Sakura Hibachi and Sushi Bar, Pine Bar, and Loaded Pizza, and is also within a walkable distance from the tennis complex. There is one hotel on the UGA campus in the convention center, but there are loads of options outside of campus that you may want to investigate. Many visitors also prefer to book an Airbnb, as Athens is home to many affordable ones.  

 

Fans   3

The University of Georgia tennis fans are very knowledgeable of both their men’s and women’s tennis teams. Attendance can vary greatly, as marquee night and conference matches will have much better attendance numbers than the random noon midweek nonconference match. When the SEC championship is hosted, many of the non-UGA matches will have only a handful of patrons and family in attendance. Student turnout also varies depending on the stakes of the match, the quality of the promotion or giveaway, and the time. If it is a good opponent on the weekend, student turnout is very good by college tennis standards, and they give the atmosphere as well as the usual student section banter to opposing players, occasionally sneaking under the skin of the opposing team. It is a usual occurrence for the umpires to calm the crowd when the student turnout is in full force. As for the rest of the crowd, it tends to be the families of the athletes and local families getting out of the house on a nice day.


Access   3

Getting to Athens is not always the easiest experience. There is not a direct highway to Athens, but the most common way to get to Athens from Atlanta is I-85 to Exit 106, which will put you on GA 316, otherwise known as University Parkway, and it runs directly to Athens. There is also a world where it ends up being faster to take I-20 from Atlanta. This will take you to Conyers, GA, and put you on a combination of countryside highways to Athens. If coming from Lake Hartwell or South Carolina, it is best to take I-85 to Commerce, Georgia. From Commerce, you can take GA 15 south directly into Athens.  


Once in Athens, the tennis complex is located directly behind the Stegman Coliseum on the campus of the University of Georgia. The Carlton Street parking deck is free to park on event days, and it is situated right across the street from the indoor complex and approximately a mere 200 feet from the outdoor entrance. The outdoor concourse is simple and easy to navigate, but there is only one set of restrooms, which may get crowded at highly attended matches. The indoor concourse is impossible to get lost in, and it is simply a hallway with a concession stand that takes you straight to the main courts. 

 

Return on Investment   5

Admission to UGA Regular season matches is free, and every event is general admission, so it is hard to complain about that. On top of free admission, parking on the Carlton Street Deck is free as well. For non-UGA events, like the 2024 SEC Women’s Tennis Championships, the price per day was $5, and an all-sessions pass was $15. Concessions are on par with every UGA athletic event, which is a more than reasonable price. $2.50 for hot dogs, $5 for hamburgers, $7-$8 for beer, $5 for a pretzel, and $2 for water.

 

Extras   4

The Dan Magill Tennis Complex offers a sense of natural beauty with the garden-like features it incorporates into the complex. Inside the main stand is a long timeline and tribute to the Georgia tennis greats. The grass terrace along courts 4-6 also gives a very green feel to the complex. Outside the outdoor courts is also the ITA Tennis Hall of Fame, which was unfortunately closed for our visits, but when it opens, it will add some more character to this historic complex.

 

Final Thoughts

The Dan Magill Tennis Complex provides a quality atmosphere with quality tennis for a non-existent dollar amount. No matter what you are in Athens for, it is more than worth checking out both the men’s and women’s tennis schedules.

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