2024 US National Table Tennis Championships Ready for Take-Off in The Rocket City
by USA Table Tennis
Nationals Headed to America’s Mid-South as Huntsville, Alabama, Will Host the Best Players in the US as well as the Stars of the Future in a World Table Tennis Youth Contender Event
(Colorado Springs, CO – November 6, 2023) – USA Table Tennis (“USATT”) and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau today jointly announced that the 2024 US National Table Tennis Championships will be held in the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This will mark the first time in USATT’s 90-year history that the National Championships have been played in the state of Alabama. Known as “The Rocket City” for its long-standing leadership role in America’s space industry, Huntsville will also host a World Table Tennis Youth Contender Event in the week leading up to the 2024 Nationals.
The US Nationals are currently scheduled to be played on July 3 – 7, 2024, while the WTT Youth Contender Event competition dates are currently scheduled for June 26 – 29, 2024. The Prospectus for each of these two events is expected to be released in February of 2024.
“We’re extremely excited to bring the Nationals – and an important youth international table tennis event – to the great city of Huntsville, Alabama,” said USATT Chief Executive Officer Virginia Sung. “USATT is a national organization, and we are committed to bringing our biggest and best events to all parts of United States. We have been unbelievably impressed with the outstanding commitment and effort exhibited by the city leaders of Huntsville to host these events. Of course, we expect this to be another hotly contested competition for National Titles – and some of the best young players in the world will be in Huntsville to participate in the WTT Youth Contender – but we also hope the tournament participants take this opportunity to explore Huntsville, particularly its history in the field of space exploration. Who knows, we may inspire a young table tennis athlete to launch a career in aerospace engineering – or maybe even become an astronaut!”
“We welcome all of the participants from around the world coming to Huntsville to compete and represent their country,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “We look forward to crowning a new set of national champions and providing them a memorable championship experience in our Downtown.”
Located in the Appalachian region of Northern Alabama, Huntsville is the most populous city proper in the state of Alabama. During World War II, Huntsville was a critical base of operations for the US Army. After the war, rocket research in the city built the foundation for America’s space program. In fact, the city earned its nickname “The Rocket City” for its close involvement in the projects for America’s first orbiting satellite, the Apollo Lunar Landing Program, and more recently the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. Huntsville also boasts a spectacular space-related museum, the United States Space & Rocket Center, which features the US Space Camp, Aviation Challenge, and the only Saturn V rocket designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Huntsville is also well-known in the sports world, boasting a newly renovated professional soccer facility that is the home to Huntsville City FC, a professional hockey team, the Huntsville Havoc, which plays in the Von Braun Center’s Arena, and the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. Among the over 60 parks within the city, Huntsville has recently developed a series of expansive outdoor sports venues, which include numerous state-of-the-art fields for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse – as well as elite-level sand volleyball courts, which are poised to host the American Volleyball Coaches Association Fall Collegiate Beach Championships this fall, and a world-class cross country course that is considered one of the fastest in the country.
Huntsville’s growth has caught the eye of many across the nation, with U.S. News & World Report ranking the city as the Number One place to live in the United States in 2022.
“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 2024 US National Table Tennis Championships will be staged in the South Hall of the Von Braun Center, an expansive facility which is named for the German-American rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, who was a leading member of the research team that laid the foundation for the United States’ space program. The South Hall boasts over 80,000 square feet of open space, an expansive lobby, banquet halls, underground parking, and a skybridge connected to one of the many accessible hotels in the fashionable and historic downtown Huntsville area.
The Youth Contender Event will be played in the Athletic Club Alabama, a premier racquet club located close to downtown Huntsville. The ACA features climate controlled indoor tennis courts which will be transformed into a world-class table tennis facility for the WTT event. The ACA also boasts a fitness center and relaxing restaurant areas for patrons of the facility.
“We appreciate the faith that the USA Table Tennis has in our team to host these two major events,” said Mark Russell, executive director of the Huntsville Sports Commission. “It is exciting to host the national championships and we look forward to helping table tennis grow in the Southeast.”