Tennis Center Improvements - Prospect Park Alliance
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Tennis Center Improvements

Since 2003, Prospect Park Alliance has operated the Prospect Park Tennis Center, bringing affordable and accessible, high-quality tennis to the Brooklyn community. In this time, the Alliance has made significant improvements: reconstructing the courts, building a clubhouse and creating new programs such as Special Aces, which provides tennis instruction for children with special needs. 

Last year, the City of New York renewed its concession agreement with the Alliance, and we are more committed than ever to providing our community with access to affordable tennis year round. In that spirit, the Alliance is creating two all-season fabric structures, and we are excited to share these plans with you. The benefits of installing all-season structures are many, as outlined here in our FAQ. Please note that the new structures will not affect our longtime arrangement with the City to offer NYC Parks permitted tennis play during daytime hours in the summer months, and we are committed to continuing to offer accessible tennis play throughout the year.

What are “all-season” structures?

“All season” structures are light-weight fabric structures that will cover the courts year-round. There will be two separate structures: one covering each side of the courts and connected to the clubhouse. They will look very similar in shape and size to the seasonal bubbles that are currently installed each year. The structures will have garage-like doors on each end that can be opened during the warmer months to ventilate the space and provide air circulation. 

Will permitted daytime play still be allowed in the summer?

Absolutely. Once the structures are built, daytime play with an NYC Parks Permit will continue as always from late spring to early fall. An added bonus of the all-season structures is that once they are built there will be an additional two weeks of daytime permitted play.

What are the benefits of permanent structures?

  • Uninterrupted Tennis Play: Our existing operations, which include installing and dismantling tennis bubbles each spring and fall, take an entire month of play away from the public. With permanent structures, play can continue year-round without interruptions. Year-round covered courts also means no rain outs. Over the past two summers alone, rain alone accounted for 3,200 hours of lost court time for our tennis community. In addition, all-season structures will ensure that weather events like big snow storms or hurricanes won’t impact play (the current bubbles cannot withstand extreme weather events and at times have either collapsed or been preemptively deflated. It can take many days to reinstall bubbles after one of these events).
  • Protection from Extreme Heat and Sun Exposure: As dangerously high temperatures become the norm during New York City summer months, a benefit of the all-season structures is that they maintain court temperatures at 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the outdoor temperatures. In addition, with ever-increasing concerns about the health risks from exposure to the sun, all-season structures provide sun protection for all players, including the children enrolled in our summer programs. 
  • Improving the Environment: All-season structures will greatly reduce the Tennis Center’s environmental footprint. The clay courts will require significantly less watering because they won’t be exposed to the sun, LED light bulbs will reduce electricity consumption, the elimination of running motors to pressurize the bubbles during the indoor season will lead to considerable energy savings, and the insulation of the all-season structures will increase the efficiency of heating systems. 

Are there any other improvements taking place besides building the new structures?

Yes! The clubhouse will be getting some updates. The revolving doors leading to the structures will be removed and replaced with new glass doors, increasing the visibility of the courts from inside the clubhouse and making the courts ADA accessible. Other clubhouse improvements such as refinishing the floor, building a new front desk, and painting the interiors will be a part of this  project. 

Along with these improvements, the Alliance will also update our online registration system. New software will make it much easier for players to access their accounts, book courts and register for programs. 

What is the cost and timeline for construction?

The all-season fabric structures will cost $5.5 million to build and construct on site. We are currently presenting the design to the various City agencies that need to review and approve this project, and hope to construct the new structures in 2022. As we finish this process, we look forward to updating our community on the timeline, and appreciate your support. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns at tennis@prospectpark.org