Boise State men's tennis coach Greg Patton kept one eye on the court and another on the stands when the Broncos battled Washington in Seattle on Feb. 3.
A friend was relaying results from a Davis Cup match in Florida between the United States and Brazil. Sam Querrey's four-set win gave the Americans a 3-2 victory, which meant the team's next match would be in Boise - a moment Patton had been anticipating for nearly a decade.
"It's one of my bucket list things," Patton said. "I've really wanted to help get it going for probably eight years. All the stars aligned."
Taco Bell Arena will host the Davis Cup quarterfinal between the U.S. and Serbia on April 5-7. Serbia's roster features world No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic, who led his country to a Davis Cup title in 2010.
United States Tennis Association officials were on the Boise State campus Wednesday to formally announce the event.
USTA Team Events Senior Director Jeff Ryan said he was told by team captain Jim Courier, who was coached by Patton in youth tennis, that he'd like to play in a familiar site with just the right amount of altitude.
The Boise State campus sits at approximately 2,700 feet, which could boost the serving velocity for 6-foot-9 American singles player John Isner and Querrey, his 6-6 teammate.
"We've been in touch with (Boise) for years," Ryan said. "For this one, it was definitely emanating from my office, saying, 'We're interested, the guys are saying they kind of want to play up there.'"
Other cities up for the bid were Tucson, Ariz., Tacoma, Wash., and Seattle. Boise's bid was submitted Jan. 6.
With Boise in the running, Boise State officials approached Chris Moore, president of Knitting Factory Presents, in December about helping secure the bid from the business side.
"It's a major event, not just a big tennis event, and as a part of this community, how could you not want to be involved?" Moore said. "I was honored to even be asked."
Moore helped finance the cost to get the bid, which is typically $400,000, but not set in stone. Moore did not say how much was paid, but Ryan said it was less than the usual rate. He said he wouldn't take a $1 bid, but the USTA does seek a strong commitment from the community to support the event.
"I wouldn't say we waived (the fee), that's what we've been garnering from cities," Ryan said. " We wanted to come to Boise."
Moore will seek further support and help find three other businesses to advertise on one of four banners, the only courtside advertisements.
"It's been awarded to us, but we still need community support to make sure it's a success," Moore said.
Tickets will go on sale Feb. 25 (USTA members) and Feb. 27 (general public). Tickets will be sold in three-day packages only, starting at around $100 and going as high as $400 to $500 for VIP access. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of attendees will come from out-of-state, Ryan said. He said previous Davis Cup stops in Austin, Texas, Birmingham, Ala., and Winston-Salem, N.C. sold out within hours.
Taco Bell Arena capacity for the event will be approximately 11,500.
Ryan, who formerly ran a World TeamTennis franchise in Charlotte, N.C., said the Americans will have a distinct homecourt advantage. He recalled how tough it was to beat Patton at home when he coached the Idaho Sneakers of the WTT in the late 1990s.
"They were known as the team you really wanted to go out and be careful of because they had such a great, enthusiastic crowd - they could really whoop up on you," Ryan said.
Past connections with the competitors also helped, as Patton said the input of Courier, Querrey and the doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan was "critical."
"This was it - a lot of those guys I coached are retiring, so if it didn't happen now, it might not happen in my lifetime," Patton said. "This is incredibly special. It's a once-in-a-lifetime deal, and I think people will love it."
The U.S. has won the most Davis Cups in history (32), its last in 2007.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_southorn