(Originally published 7.26.11 in BizBash Washington)
The Washington Kastles tennis team held their 2011 season—which wrapped up Sunday night undefeated—in a new 2,700-seat temporary stadium, Kastles Stadium at the Wharf, designed by PN Hoffman Construction. The structure took about two months to construct and held 20,000 people throughout the three-week tennis season, which had previously been held in a temporary stadium erected each summer from 2008 to 2010 in a parking lot of the former Washington Convention Center at 11th and H streets NW.
“We thought the location right on the waterfront was unique and spectacular setting for our team and our season, as well as other activities,” said Kastles owner Mark Ein. “That particular location is really accessible by any means of transport in the region. It’s uniquely situated for people to get to and from the stadium easily.”
On the southwest waterfront on the former grounds of Hogates Restaurant, the new stadium combines bleacher-style seating with roped-off V.I.P. areas lined with folding chairs. In addition to concession stands, the surrounding grounds are home to two temporary V.I.P. tents: the SunTrust Club and a V.I.P. sponsor area that housed four sponsor activations and parties throughout the season.
The V.I.P. tent served as a home base for team sponsors, as well as the site for the daily press conference with players–including tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and John McEnroe—Kastles coach Murphy Jensen, and Ein. Interior designer Dana Tydings of Tydings Design worked with furniture company American Eye at the Washington Design Center to outfit the tent with white, blue, and tan lounge furniture accented with green and orange pillows and green linens on the nearby highboys. R&R Catering staffed the tent’s two bars throughout the tournament, with five restaurants, including Cantina Marina and Carmine’s, providing catering in the SunTrust Club on various nights throughout the stadium.
The stadium will remain as part of the waterfront’s architectural landscape for the next two years, during which time it will be used for other sporting events, like the Street Soccer Championships, a charity fund-raiser with Mia Hamm, and concerts. The venue will also be available private events booked through the Kastles.
***Photos: Vithaya Phongsavan (stadium, McEnroe, action, crow) and Rich Kessler