US Squash first partnered with Drexel University in 2011 to bring the U.S. Open Squash Championships to Philadelphia. Over the last decade, the partnership has returned the U.S. Open to its historic prominence as one of the most coveted titles on the professional tour. In 2013, the U.S. Open led the charge for pay equality, becoming the first major tournament to offer prize money parity – an enduring commitment that led to all major professional tournaments now requiring parity in prize funds.
Drexel University’s partnership with US Squash was instrumental in the development of the Arlen Specter US Squash Center project, paving the way for usage of the historic Armory building in the heart of the Drexel campus. The Specter Center will now welcome a diverse community of current and new players to the world’s largest community squash center, and make Philadelphia a destination for squash players worldwide while remaining the home of the U.S. Open.
Founded in 2001, SquashSmarts is a free intensive out-of-school time program supporting the lives of Philadelphia’s public school students. SquashSmarts, which was founded using courts at Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center prior to expanding to the Lenfest Center in North Philadelphia, will now expand the reach of its core programs through dedicated classroom and mentoring space in the Specter Center’s Learning & Innovation Center.
Along with increased enrollment in its core program, SquashSmarts staff will work daily at the Specter Center alongside US Squash staff to coordinate and build programs that strive towards US Squash’s vision of making squash more accessible nationally.
US Squash Community Affiliate Network
Inviting and encouraging families to be a part of the Specter Center, regardless of their experience in the sport, is central to US Squash’s vision in leading squash to be more accessible nationally. As the home of US Squash, the Specter Center operates as the world’s largest community squash center and the flagship facility of the US Squash Community Affiliate Network. This network is comprised of non-profit programs around the country who operate facilities that deliver US Squash programs and closely align with US Squash’s mission of promoting squash’s growth and development by increasing access and awareness, supporting meaningful lifelong engagement in the sport, and encouraging sportsmanship while achieving competitive excellence.