(02/04/13) - After 25 years, the Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland continues to grow and change with the times.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, we learned what's new for 2013.
Organizers for the Tennis Classic have had plenty of practice to get it right. This marks the tournament's Silver Anniversary.
To mark the occasion special, there are a handful of new features, including live scoring. There will also be live online streaming of all the matches on the Stadium Court.
'Midland Community Tennis Center' executive director Mike Woody says there have also been updates to social media and the website.
A 'Parade of Champions' is planned, and on Saturday night, there will be an '80s party. All that will be served up alongside the world-class tennis matches.
This year features four players in the top 100. In addition, the number one ranked junior is playing - Taylor Townsend. This will actually be her very first tournament as a 'pro'.
"This is my first professional tournament being professional, which is really exciting," she said.
Along with all the new faces in Midland, it was perhaps most exciting to see Meredith McGrath, the tournament spokesperson, at Monday's news conference. The hometown girl now lives in California, but this tournament and this town is where her successful pro-career started.
"When I get back to this tennis center, I feel like a kid again, it just brings back so many great memories, and being at the tournament, the tournament really, like I said earlier, it really launched my career," she said.
Practice is already underway, along with the qualifying matches. Throughout the week, this place will be busy. The tournament provides a big economic boost for the Midland-area.
"The Dow Corning Tennis Classic is going to bring close to 15,000 people," Woody said.
Many of those visitors will be staying at area hotels, eating at restaurants, and seeing what else the area has to offer.
"The economic impact of this event is close to $1 million," Woody said.
Despite a couple of rough weeks in Midland, with layoffs announced at both Dow Corning and Dow Chemical, everyone involved with the tennis tournament believes this event will give people a lot to cheer about.
"I think people mark this on their calendar every year. And this is like a week to look forward to," McGrath said.
"Economically, we can have tough times, but we are a family, we are a community that comes together and for us, this is a week to really bond," Woody said.
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