NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and Council Member Ben Kallos Launch Queensboro Oval Tennis Pilot — Christen Clay Courts For Public Play

06/19/2017

Pilot Program Makes Six Indoor Red Clay Tennis Courts Available at No Extra Charge to Permit Holders

Tennis Permit Sales Up More Than 3,500 City-Wide Since Tennis Permit Price Reduction

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, and Council Member Ben Kallos today launch the recently announced Queensboro Oval tennis pilot by taking on one of the Sutton East Tennis Club’s tennis pros: christening the clay courts for their first season open to the public with a NYC Parks Tennis Permit. The pilot program allows access to six of the bubble’s red clay tennis courts, for the first time, to tennis-lovers who purchase a permit to play on New York City public courts. 

“NYC Parks is excited to launch this summertime pilot to promote equity by expanding access to public tennis at the Queensboro Oval tennis bubble,” said Commissioner Silver.  “At no additional fee to permit holders, New Yorkers can perfect their groundstrokes and serves on six indoor clay, air conditioned courts while enjoying increased access at this site.”

"After 40 years we are opening indoor tennis to the public this summer. For a $100 annual tennis pass from NYC Parks, you can play tennis on air-conditioned indoor courts all summer long that would normally cost as much as $225 an hour. Now it is up to the public to show such high demand for these courts that we have to expand the program," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Thank you to Commissioner Mitchell Silver and NYC Parks for working with Eastside elected officials to open indoor tennis to the public this summer as we continue our work to expand parks space in the district."

New York State Senator Liz Krueger stated: "Access to public open space is in short supply on the Upper East Side, so any increase in availability for local residents is a welcome development. While a long-term plan for the Queensboro Oval is still being considered, I’m pleased that the majority of the tennis courts will be open to the public in the meantime. I thank NYC Parks for their efforts, and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure the community can benefit from the Oval going forward."

"Especially in this neighborhood, with its shortage of parks and public recreational options, it’s great that we’re opening Queensboro Oval to the tennis-playing public," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank the Department for moving forward with this pilot program.”

At the start of this year’s tennis season, NYC Parks halved the price of an annual adult tennis permit from $200 to $100 and expanded online registration to first-time registrants, who could previously only buy permits in person. Annual permits for seniors 62 and over are only $20, and annual permits for juniors below 18 cost only $10. Single-play and reservation tickets cost $15. To date, sales have increased by more than 3,500 additional tennis permits sold over last year.

Earlier this year, NYC Parks received hundreds of pieces of correspondence and phone calls, as well as thousands of petition signatures, from tennis enthusiasts excited about fostering tennis at this site. The pilot program is designed to increase year-round, accessible recreational opportunities at the Queensboro Oval tennis bubble, an NYC Parks managed CDOT property operated by York Avenue Tennis through a NYC Parks license agreement. The indoor, air conditioned facility features eight red clay courts.

The tennis bubble’s summer season runs through Sunday, September 10. Six of the courts will be available to permit holders between 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., daily. Queensboro Oval is located directly underneath the Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge, on York Ave., between East 59th and East 60th streets, Manhattan.

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