WHY WE ARE A STAY-TO-PLAY EVENT...
Beginning in 2019 the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships and many other HS Tennis Championships events will be moving to a stay-to-play housing policy.
What is this Stay-to-Play policy? It can go by many other things including Stay-to-Save and Stay-and-Win, but they all mean that: Either the participating teams stay in a “tournament approved” hotel or else they may not be accepted to that event. There are numerous reasons that we have gone to this housing policy including:
A Stay-to-Play policy is among the most effective tools we have to ensure overall event quality. In addition to lowering rates for teams on hotel packages, this policy increases our negotiating power with our host city. It allows us better tracking and reporting of room nights generated by our event, and is helpful to show the economic benefits of our event in our negotiations with the local Sports Commission for both amenities and financial contribution.
I know Stay-to-Play helps the tournament, but does it help my team?
Stay-to-Play helps keep hotel rates down. A tournament that institutes it in the first year can expect their average hotel rates to decrease.
The increased rebate revenue received from Stay-to-Play will be poured it back into our event to enhance it, improve the competition, and continue to make it a more in-demand tournament for teams to attend.
The only teams that hate Stay-to-Play are the teams that do not get the hotel they want. Teams that reserve their rooms early get the choice hotels located closest to the tournament sites, while the rest may have to commute slightly longer. A team not getting their choice of hotel certainly isn’t a Stay-to-Play issue; it’s a timing and/or a quantity issue.
Stay-to-Play is not about making teams stay in a hotel that does not suit their needs, or that they cannot afford. Our goal is to make sure the hotel choices offered have a broad set of locations, amenities and rate ranges to satisfy the biggest number of teams. This is also the reason that for select instances the Tournament Director has the ability to provide a team with an exemption.
You may have heard the complaint: “Stay-to-Play costs my team more money.” And while that may be a statement that can be made by a handful of teams, it is not an accurate assessment of the rates the great majority of teams will pay especially considering that using Stay-to-Play will be lower than the average rates of a tournament not using it.
Keep in mind that a few teams can always find a lower rate, in every city, at some hotel. But Stay-to-Play isn’t about what is best for any one team, it’s about what’s best for the health of our tournament. Having lower hotel rates for all of the attending teams to choose from will assure us that we have provided the best environment for teams to participate in our event year after year.
So where does this room rebate go, and why shouldn't we be able to book our own rooms?
When negotiating the hotel block contracts, we built a rebate into the room rate. These rebates are used to help us offset tournament expenses, such as facility rentals, player and coaches gifts, and the player's party which can typically take up large portions of our budget. We also require comp rooms based on the numbers of room nights booked; such rooms are used for event staff, officials and more. We want to dispel any misconception that benefits such as rebates are used simply to boost profits; they help us grow our event by minimizing expenses and allowing us to continue to offer the same great tournament experience without raising the entry fee.
What happens if my team doesn't want to stay in a tournament-approved hotel?
Unless a team is within 75-miles of Chattanooga or receives an exemption from the Tournament Director, all teams competing at our tournament must stay at tournament approved hotels. Teams who do not comply with this policy will not be permitted to return to HS Tennis Championship events in the future and may forfeit their right to compete in our event this year.
You can find all of the official tournament hotels for the 2019 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships by clicking here.