SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The new tennis complex at Tomar Park in Sioux Falls held a fundraising block party Sunday. The 12-court Great Life Cares Foundation Tennis Complex is touted as the finest outdoor facility of its type in South Dakota. This is its first full year in operation and it’s already hosted the state high school tennis tournament last month, with more tournaments to follow, and possibly even professionals taking the court.

Kevin O’Connor has been playing tennis for sixty years and is very impressed with his new favorite place to play, the Great Life tennis complex at Tomar Park.

“This is very good. Top of the line,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor will be a regular fixture at the complex in the months ahead.

“I’m going to be in the Sioux Falls singles league here and doubles league, so I’ll be around a lot this summer,” O’Connor said.

Younger players are also drawn to the tennis complex. The spacious setting along the Big Sioux River will be a training ground for future generations.

“First of all, it’s brought a lot of kids into the program and I just think having a nice, open space and so many courts, it brings a lot of local families into it, people who live around here,” tennis instructor Rachel Fanciullo said.

The Sioux Falls Tennis Association raised $3-million in private donations to build the complex to serve as a centralized hub for tournaments, lessons and leagues.

“So to be able to bring that many players in one location, the spectators not having to go from park-to-park to watch their kids, or their husband play, their son play, it’s really nice to have it here,” Sioux Falls Tennis Association Executive Director Lydia Healy said.

High school players from around South Dakota got their first look at the complex during last month’s state tournament.

“It just ran so smooth with 12 courts in one location and I think we were ahead of schedule the whole time just because it was all at one facility,” state tournament official John Schreurs said.

The complex was also built with spectators in mind, featuring shaded bleachers to protect fans from the hot summer sun.

“A lot of outlets we can plug in ginormous fans, misters to keep them cool. We have two water features for fountains and bottles and soon we’ll have scoreboards that you can see a little bit better,” Healy said.

Even though it is open for its first full season, the tennis complex is very much a work-in-progress. The tennis association is raising money to build a storage shed to house all the tennis equipment for future tournaments.

“We’ll have all the balls and lesson paraphernalia for youth, all the league supplies, scorecards for adults. We could put an ice machine in there for injuries or for drinks, we could do concessions,” Healy said.

But in the meantime, a converted shuttle bus will serve as as multi-tasking storage shed.

“It’s kind of exciting. We can take it right to schools, we can take it to homecoming, we can take it into parades and it’s just going to get us a lot of exposure around town,” Healy said.

Healy hopes the complex will host a tournament for professionals from the ATP tour as soon as next year.

“They do require a private lounge, so we will probably have to put a tent up with some plug-in AC units,” Healy said.

Sioux Falls’ stature as a tennis destination would only grow if professionals from across the country come play here. Yet, the complex’s main focus will always be on local players who now have the ultimate home court advantage.

The next tournament taking place at the Tomar Park complex will be the South Dakota Junior Open from June 23rd to the 25th.