Marine Park tennis courts

What's the racket? Marine Park tennis courts stink, players say

Brooklyn Daily

Tennis buffs are lobbing vitriol-fueled volleys at the city for failing to fix Marine Park’s ailing tennis courts, claiming that the play space is in varying states of disrepair and needs to be overhauled.

Dozens of tennis enthusiasts say they have fired off letters to Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), the Parks Department, and Borough Hall, demanding new courts for Marine Park — but their pleas have gone unanswered.

“They need to be fixed,” said Hazel Remdin, a Marine Park resident who plays tennis at the corner of Fillmore Avenue and E. 32nd Street. “I’m always worried I’m going to run over a crack and twist my ankle.”

Felix Vandalous, a tennis player from Sheepshead Bay, agreed.

“There are cracks two-inches wide,” he said. “We complained a lot to the Parks Department and to Borough Hall, but they never get back to us.”

Yet Fidler claims that at least half of the people who use the courts live miles away from Marine Park — so he shouldn’t be responsible for paying the $3.75 million for fixing the 15 tennis courts.

“Most of the complaints I’ve got are not from my constituents,” said the legislator, professing ignorance about the state of the dilapidated facilities. “I don’t play tennis, so if it weren’t for the constituents telling me, I wouldn’t know.”

Fidler also said the math dashed any hopes for a unilateral makeover.

“I can’t get $3.75 million in one year,” he said. “Maybe I could, but that wouldn’t leave any money for the other parks in my district.”

Fidler is petitioning the mayor to fund tennis court refurbishments in this year’s fiscal budget, which will be finalized on June 30. If the Mayor agrees, Marine Park would receive the most money for court renovations in Brooklyn, followed by Prospect Park’s 11 courts and Dyker Beach Park’s nine courts. Manhattan Beach, which has six courts, would pick up the rear.

Yet some players who use Marine Park said it shouldn’t make a difference where the players hail from.

“Why would other people in Brooklyn not come to Marine Park?” questioned Prospect Park resident Phil Minal, who says he plays tennis in Marine Park three times a week. “Brooklyn is Brooklyn. It just makes sense.”

— with Ben Lockhart

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Reader Feedback

Melvin Band from Sheepshead Bay says:
While 3.5 million dollars is a lot of money, consider the amount of money that the city will have to pay out to settle accident claims against it.The city, by keeping the courts open is saying in effect to the citizens who are using the courts that the courts are safe. One more point. The cost of getting a permit to play on the city courts is now $150 per year. What are the players getting for their money? Answer. Rather than bang for their bucks, they are getting their bodies physically banged.
June 15, 2012, 8:16 am
Veronica from Marine Park says:
I'm happy Mr. Fidler indicated that he's not a tennis player because he wouldn't understand. Tennis players just don't like to always play in their neighborhood they like to venture to other areas for a different challenge. Marine Park is a public park like many others in the 5 boroughs and the $200.00 that is paid for a seasonal tennis permit allows them to play at any city park. To say he's not responsible to pay for fixing the tennis courts because people come from elsewhere to play is insane, it really shouldn't matter where tennis players come from to play at Marine Park, it's a public park which means open to the public, and the permit that is so overpriced does not designate where to play, you play in any city park. Increasing the permit from $100 to $200 a year ago made us believe they would then fix the cracked courts and torn nets. Look at the basketball courts they are in good condition, however they don't require a permit for individuals to play, and other sports that are played in the park doesn't require an individual permit, it's only tennis that requires all individuals to pay for a permit. I just say if our courts haven't been maintained where is our permit money going, would I be wrong in believing it's going towards keeping up other sports that don't require individual permits?
June 25, 2012, 1:37 pm
Steve Cummins from Gerritsen Beach says:
Tennis players were'nt this outspoken when our softball field was eliminated to expand the courts. true, we don't pay for permits, but we are all tax payers.
Oct. 29, 2012, 7:48 am

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