HUNTSVILLE – Youth will be served first and, after that, adults get a turn to enter the table tennis spotlight when two prominent events on the sport’s schedule come to the city next summer.
The Rocket City will be the epicenter of the table tennis world for two weeks in 2024 as Huntsville has been awarded the World Table Tennis Youth Contender and the USA Table Tennis Nationals.
The Contender will be hosted by the Athletic Club Alabama indoor complex on Leeman Ferry Road June 26-29, and the Nationals will be in the Von Braun Center’s South Hall July 3-7. The Nationals will serve as a tune-up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“We welcome all of the participants from around the world coming to Huntsville to compete and represent their country,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “We look forward to crowning a new set of national champions and providing them a memorable championship experience in our downtown.”
The Nationals will be played on more than 80 courts as national champions will be crowned throughout the week. The Nationals have been hosted the past two years at the Fort Worth Convention Center, bringing more than 800 participants.
“We have been impressed with the venue and hospitality from the Huntsville community and look forward to bringing these two events to the city in 2024,” said Virginia Sung, CEO of USA Table Tennis. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue to grow our sport as well as give our Olympians a final tune up before they head to France to compete in the Olympics.”
At the Youth Contender, more than 100 of the top junior players from around the world will compete at the ACA.
“Hosting a national championship is a special opportunity for our destination and we look forward to USA Table Tennis filling our city next summer,” said Jennifer Moore, president & CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The two weeks of events are expected to generate more than $2 million in economic impact with more than 3,000 room nights during the holiday weekend, traditionally a slow time for the hospitality community.
“We appreciate the faith that the USA Table Tennis has in our team to host these two major events,” Mark Russell, executive director of the Huntsville Sports Commission, said. “It is exciting to host the national championships and we look forward to helping table tennis grow in the Southeast.”