Family Circle Cup 2014 comes to end; 2015 already in works - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

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Family Circle Cup 2014 comes to end; 2015 already in works

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DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) – Every year the Family Circle Cup lures nearly 90,000 people. The question is: what does it take to draw such a massive crowd?

Ashley Jolly, public relations official for the Circle Cup says organizing the event happens more than a year in advance.

"Planning for the Family Circle Cup begins before the current event even comes to a close," said Jolly. "Preparations are already taking place to secure players, contract vendors and market the event to next year's ticket buyers."

The FCC hosts 92 matches over a nine-day span. There are teams of crews which consist of about 500 volunteers. Each operational team spends countless hours completing its assigned duty.

"From 125 ball crew members to 350 volunteers, including ushers, officials and transportation," Jolly said. "Not to mention the long days and nights from the full time FCC staff."

One of the major duties is preparing the grounds on Daniel Island.

"The Cup's operations team is responsible for resurfacing the courts, grooming the grounds, prepping the stadium so that everything is in pristine condition for the first attendee to enter the gates in the Spring," she said.

With so many matches being played, the Family Circle Cup goes through thousands of tennis balls -- 7,200 to be exact. And, of course, there was a crew of 125 volunteers specifically assigned to pick them up wherever they fall.

"Players and officials rely on the Ball Crew to keep the flow of the match going," said Jolly. "All Ball Crew Volunteers have to go through rigorous training and practice in order to be the very best when matches begin."

The second major duty when it comes to pulling off a successful Cup: the food.

The FCC utilizes local restaurants like Daniel Island Grill, Jim N' Nicks, Zeus Grill and Verde to offer a food court of options to attendees.

Local vendors also play a role in the overall look and feel of the event.

"The Cup also contracts with Charleston companies like Production Design Associates to provide the trussing for the ESPN stage and signage," Jolly said. " Security is provided by Events Partners, Inc., a local company whose owner, Drew Cawood, actually lives on Daniel Island."

 Family Circle Cup 2014 ends Sunday afternoon, but ideas are already being kicked around and plans are being set for next April's tournament. The 2015 Family Circle Cup will run April 4-12.

  • Valencia Wicker

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