Local News: Tennis in Pasadena

Here’s a letter I wrote to the Pasadena Star News. That’s the nice thing about having a blog…even if they don’t publish the letter, I can post it here! Voila!

Tennis in Pasadena: A Victim of Success?

The City of Pasadena’s Human Services and Recreation Department has issued a draft a plan for the city’s recreation services. Unfortunately, this plan doles out a meager portion of resources for the city’s tennis facilities. The current tennis contractor in the city, i-Tennis (also known as Rose Bowl Tennis) has done an excellent job of providing programs for children and adults over the last three years, creating an interest in tennis and a demand for courts. What’s happening now is that the demand for courts has outstripped the availability, and the draft plan does not address this situation.

Some of our local high schools have courts, but they are in disrepair and there are no existing MOUs between Pasadena Unified School District and the City. Neighboring cities like Arcadia and Burbank have more courts, better courts, multiple surfaces and well-maintained lights for night play. Down at Brookside Park, not only are the tennis courts in disrepair, but the sidewalk on the north side of the court enclosure (which is for public pedestrian use by anyone, not just tennis players) is so uneven that several people have fallen, resulting in cuts, bumps and bruises (but not a lawsuit–yet).

If Pasadena is the world-class city it claims to be, it is time to put some funds into a world-class sport, tennis. The United States Tennis Association just named the National Tennis Center after Billie Jean King, a SoCal native who grew up on public courts. If the next Billie Jean is in Pasadena, let’s give her some time on the court.

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