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  • Richard Smith

Tennis Center at College Park – Maryland Terrapins

Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43

Tennis Center at College Park

5200 Campus Drive College Park, MD 20740

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 250


Terrapins Playing Tennis

The University of Maryland, College Park, was founded in 1856. It is recognized as the flagship school of the University of Maryland system. The university has an enrollment of more than 37,000 students. The University of Maryland offers 127 undergraduate degrees and 112 graduate degrees in thirteen colleges and schools. Notable alumni of the University of Maryland include Muppets creator Jim Henson, ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David.

The University of Maryland currently has 20 athletic teams: 8 men’s and 12 women’s. Maryland is a member of the Big Ten Conference for all sports. The basketball team is the most well-known, although men’s soccer team, women’s lacrosse team and women’s field hockey teams are arguably the most successful on campus.

In 2011/2012 the men’s tennis program was discontinued due to financial issues. Currently the team competes only in women’s tennis.

The Tennis Center at College Park is a private tennis facility located close to the main part of the University of Maryland campus. It is a 32-court tennis facility featuring indoor, outdoor, hard, red and green clay courts. The Junior Tennis Champions Center, a program to assist and develop young tennis talent is also located at the Tennis Center at College Park.

Food & Beverage 1

Some snacks and a snack machine are available inside the entrance to the Tennis Center at College Park. It would seem impolite to eat too much food while watching tennis matches at this small facility. It is best to plan your meal or snack for before or after the matches.

Atmosphere 3

There are 32 courts at the Tennis Center at College Park, but the Terrapins only play on the main hardcourt surfaces closest to the main building at the facility. At each court there is a very small grandstand, although most people just watch from hills and sidewalks nearest to the court they want to watch.

Match scoring uses the small game markers located on the net. There is a judge assigned to each court for calls.

Fans stay quiet during game play but will shout encouragements between the action. That does mean you may hear some yelling during actual game play, since the cheering is for another court.

The whole facility is fairly quiet and tree lined. Occasionally propeller planes from the small airpark next door changes the sound dynamics of the matches. That is a bit jarring, but luckily only happens intermittently and not for a long period of time.

Neighborhood 3

The Tennis Center at College Park is located near to the Aviation Museum (located at the airpark noted above) and the College Park Metro station. It is not located on the main campus of the university but a few blocks away.

The town of College Park is located directly south of the campus along U.S. Route 1. RJ Bentley’s Filling Station, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jimmy John’s, Ledo Pizza, and Five Guys are all good options in this “downtown” area. Looney’s Pub and Bobby’s Burger Palace are two other great options, and are located in The Varsity building (8150 Baltimore Ave) north of the downtown area, and maybe even closer to the arena if walking. Nando’s PERi-PERi is a new addition to the area and offers their legendary butterfly-cut, flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken. I prefer the half chicken with the medium PERi-PERi sauce and a side of Macho Peas.

The Sheraton College Park North Hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in nearby Beltsville is the best lodging choice, but it is not within walking distance of the campus. You will always have the dizzying array of Washington, DC options to choose from. The College Park Station of the Washington Metro is close by and is your best bet for getting to DC, as the traffic and parking situation is not ideal.

Fans 2

The bulk of the fans tend to be family or friends of both teams. Since it located away from the main part of the college campus, do not expect to see many students attend the matches.

Access 3

The University of Maryland is not far from the Washington Beltway, but it is just far enough away that getting to the stadium is not too easy. U.S. 1 and University Boulevard are full of traffic lights and will be very full of traffic, even on non-game days.

There is a small lot in front of the Tennis Center. There is a larger lot entrance just south on the road that has a larger lot and offers a quick rear entrance into the tennis viewing area.

If travelling to the game via the Washington Metro, get off at the College Park Station and walk across the street.

Return on Investment 3

Tickets and parking are free. Division I athletics is near professional in quality, so for the zero cost of admission you get to see a high quality sports experience for very little.

Extras 2

The facility is quite quaint. I liked looking around the facility and seeing the various court surfaces available. Clay surfaces are very cool to watch someone play on, let alone get to play on yourself.

The College Park Aviation Museum is worth a stop since it is literally next to the tennis facility. Located across the street is also the Herbert Wells Ice Rink.

Final Thoughts

The Tennis Center at College Park is a nice facility where one can watch some very high level tennis talent. The only downfall is that since it located far from the main part of the college campus, student fans are not part of the overall experience.

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