Albuquerque, N.M. --- The McKinnon Family Tennis Center, funded in part from a record lead gift by Ian and Sonnet McKinnon, will begin construction on September 23. Construction is expected to be completed in late spring.
The McKinnon Family Tennis Center will be located behind the softball and baseball fields, and when completed it will join with them in the main plaza area. The McKinnon Center will utilize the existing Pit parking lots, much like Lobo Field for baseball and softball.
"The start of construction of the McKinnon Family Tennis Center is obviously a big moment for our tennis programs, but also for tennis in the region," said Tim Cass, Deputy Athletic Director. "The center will help Albuquerque bring in a host of events, and the economic impact will benefit Albuquerque and our region."
The first phase of the McKinnon Family Tennis Center will consist of the construction of six sunken tennis courts with stadium lighting and seating for approximately 1,000 spectators. Fans will be able to keep up with all the action via a large electronic scoreboard located between the two central courts as well as smaller boards at each individual court.
Along with the tennis center, construction will also encompass the plaza/mall are that will run between the three facilities, allowing for greater access between tennis, baseball and softball.
"We couldn't be more excited to be breaking ground on this facility. Not only will it provide our teams with an amazing home court...and home court advantage...but also it will give the city of Albuquerque and the tennis community a world class facility capable of hosting elite level junior, college, and profesional events," said head women's tennis coach Erica Perkins Jasper. "We are extremely thankful for the McKinnon family and their generosity to the University of New Mexico. This is a game changer for our program and for tennis here."
“We are very excited about the start of this project, and certainly seeing those shovels go into the ground will really hit home that this is happening,” said head men’s tennis coach Alan Dils. “The McKinnon Family Tennis Center will have a great impact, not just on our programs here, but we think it will have a far-reaching impact on the community as well.”
Ian and Sonnet McKinnon announced a record $7.5 million gift to the University of New Mexico on July 23, 2011. Of that, $5 was designated for the Anderson School of Business for a new classroom building. Another $1.2 million was designated to the McKinnon Family Tennis Center, and $300,000 to an endowed scholarship in the name of Loren Dils, a former UNM assistant coach who was diagnosed with ALS.
The McKinnon Family Strength and Conditioning Center in The Pit also bears their name in conjunction with their record gift.
Said Ian McKinnon at the time of the announcement of the lead gift, “Although we now live on the East Coast, we will always think of New Mexico as our home. Its natural beauty, food, culture, and, most importantly, its wonderful people, are forever part of us. As native New Mexicans, we feel thrilled to partner with UNM, an institution for which we have profound respect and admiration.”
The McKinnons both grew up in Albuquerque. Ian is a graduate of the Albuquerque Academy and serves on their Board of Trustees. He earned a B.A. from Occidental College, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was a finalist for both the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. A managing partner of Ziff Brothers Investments (ZBI) in New York City, Ian is the son of Karen McKinnon Stibolt who earned her BA and MA at UNM, and the late Daniel A. McKinnon III, a former New Mexico Supreme Court Justice who received his BS from UNM.
Sonnet, who is the daughter of Kaysie and Don Goodenough, formed a manufacturing company with her father building wine and beer tanks and brewing systems for commercial beer producers worldwide after graduating from UNM Anderson. She and Ian had their first child in 2000, and Sonnet became a stay-at-home mom. She has mentored children who need support to be the first in their families to attend college and was elected to the UNM Foundation Board of Directors in 2006, where she served as National Vice-Chair through the completion of her term in 2010.
The Southwest Tennis Association contributed to this release