With Interest in Tennis Waning, Town Officials Pursue New Uses for Mead Park Courts, Racquet Club Partnership
Town officials are looking to forge a new partnership with the New Canaan Racquet Club and also find some new uses for the under-utilized tennis courts at Mead Park in order to boost attendance there.
In 2018, New Canaan sold 112 season passes for the clay courts, bringing in about $10,000 in revenues against $14,000 just to open the facility and thousands for more attendants, according to the Parks & Recreation Commission.
“There is a considerable shortfall on tennis that the town has to make up,” Commissioner Carl Mason said during the appointed body’s Feb. 13 meeting at Town Hall. “Even if we were to look at some of our better years, looking back at 2015 or so, we have a shortfall.”
Though tennis instruction clinics bring in some money, they effectively just “cover their costs” and it’s hard to justify redoing the clay courts for an estimated $140,000 “without any real hard data on usage,” Mason said.
“We are really not finding any champions for tennis in New Canaan at this point in time,” Mason said while presenting the full Commission with an update on the eight Mead Park courts.
The Commission should consider whether all of those courts must be dedicated to tennis, given the low demand, or whether “we can convert those courts for other sports,” Mason said.
“One thing that has been discussed is pickle ball. The hard court is maybe a venue for pickle ball. Or maybe even volleyball, basketball or a flexible field on one of the Har-Tru courts.”
Recreation officials also have met with the New Canaan Racquet Club to talk about a new partnership.