At the SVB Tennis Center VIP preview on June 27, (l.-r) Bo Sun, Mark Shepherd, Gary Blissett and CEO Pascal Collard were among those who greeted dozens of well-wishers.

Pascal Collard has been pitching an exciting vision for the Sarah Vande Berg (SVB) Tennis Center just outside of Wesley Chapel in Zephyrhills for some time, but on June 27, he was able to show some people how that vision is shaping up.

Collard and his staff hosted a VIP event, complete with beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres, to announce that Advent Health has come aboard as a major sponsor and to show off the new center, which he says should open in August.

While none of the rooms are filled just yet and the tennis, pickleball and padel courts haven’t yet been surfaced, Collard filled in the empty spots with his excitement.

And, with Covid-19 cases in Florida rising sharply in recent weeks, Collard promised one thing — it will be safe.

“I hate to say ‘most sanitized place in America,’ but that’s what we’re shooting for,” Collard said, adding that the center bought 1,000 face masks and put the staff through hours of classes and presentations to keep the facility virus-free.

The indoor portion of the facility will have plenty of space and feature an indoor restaurant focusing in healthy foods — think air-fried fries and bento boxes with edible flowers — with popular local Chef Mark Vesh of Vesh Catering designing the menu.

There also will be yoga, cryotherapy, a salt room, an exercise room and licensed massage tables. The all-around focus of the facility is on health, from exercise and playing tennis to recovery to refueling the body.

Collard also helped create a school — United Global Academy — offering an accredited curriculum for athletes training in tennis, golf, soccer and one of Collard’s own personal passions — skydiving.

And of course, there will be plenty of racquet sports. The SVB Tennis Center will have four padel courts, eight pickleball courts, two hard tennis courts with U.S. Open surfaces, and eight Har-Tru tennis courts with underground irrigation. Collard says there also will be a grass court: “It’s like a little garden.”

A drone shot of the progress on the center, which has a planned Aug. 15 opening date. Photos by Charmaine George.

There will be a viewing court with seating up to 1,000, and able to expand for bigger tournaments to more than 3,500.

The 30,000-sq.-ft. indoor facility with have four tennis courts but can be converted to accommodate soccer, weddings and even concerts.

If everything goes as Collard hopes, the facility will open Aug. 15.

“It’s really starting to come to together, you can just see it,” Collard says. “We’re pretty excited about it.”

For more info SVB Tennis Center (6585 Simons Rd., Zephyrhills) memberships and how to join, please visit or call (813) 361-6660.

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