State putting millions into renovating tennis stadium

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2015 file photo, Leslie Tsurenko, of Ukraine, far court, prepares to serve to Lucie Safarova, of the Czech Republic, in their semifinal match at the Connecticut Open tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Tennis stars arriving next week for the Connecticut Open will be greeted with a newly renovated players’ center.

It’s the first major renovation to the Connecticut Tennis Center since the stadium opened in 1991, but it won’t be the last.

The state bought the struggling WTA tournament in 2013 for $618,000 to prevent it from moving to North Carolina. Since then, the state Bond Commission has approved spending more than $2 million on improvements, including a new press facility and heating system.

Ben Barnes, the state budget director, says improvements are needed to help the tournament become self-sufficient.

Others, including Republican state Rep. Christopher Davis, a member of the commission, say the state is wasting taxpayer money on a facility that holds just one major event a year.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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