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Marine Park tennis courts

Cheap tennis players sneak in a game when the city isn't looking

Brooklyn Daily

What a racket!

Tennis lovers upset over ballooning court permit costs are finding some salvation at Marine Park — they get to play for free on Fridays and Saturdays when city employees aren’t manning the gates.

Longtime players upset that public tennis court permits jumped from $100 to $200 last year know that the Parks Department employee that watches over Marine Park’s courts is off on those days — giving them the perfect opportunity to sneak in for a quick volley.

“Some people without permits will come because they know when she’s gone,” said Aristides Soler, who frequents the courts in Marine Park.

Even the Parks employee assigned to the courts admits that non-permited players take over when she’s not around.

“When I’m gone, they come right in,” said the woman, who wished not to be named.

A Parks Department spokesman said that the city posts attendants at most tennis courts checking to see if the players have seasonal permits, which end in November. Adults pay $200 for a permit while children and seniors pay just $20.

“We want to make every effort to make sure that people playing there have the right permits,” the spokesman said, adding that the increased permitting fees would go into the general fund and pay for a wide variety of city services. “All of the courts are supposed to have attendants.”

But if that’s the case, tennis lovers say city employees will be looking over empty nets: many claim the increased costs will drive players away from the game.

“We’re losing the spirit of tennis in many people,” said Soler.

Player Alex Kaminnik agreed.

“People are doing whatever they can to avoid paying the $200 and, in the end, I think the city ends up losing money,” said Kaminnik.

Many thought that the increased permit fees would be used to help repair and maintain the city’s courts, but so far no upgrades have been made at Marine Park, which many say are cracked, chipped, and lined with unraveling nets.

“They’re in terrible condition,” said Yvonne Smith, who begrudgingly bought a permit. “I figure when the permits were raised to $200, there would be a bonus. I’m still waiting on that bonus.”

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Reader Feedback

Veronica from Marine Park says:
Many players are not putting out $200 for a permit times are hard and the courts are in terrible condition, so don't waste time wishing for bonus. It's assumed that all tennis players can afford the high priced seasonal permits which is false and that's why people will go to play when the attendants are not around to monitor and I really cannot blame them. It would have been wiser to keep the permit cost reasonable and affordable and attract more players to renew permits instead of making it high and having less people renew their permits. I hope the city will put on some new thinking caps and allow tennis players to continue enjoying tennis!
June 26, 2012, 1:47 pm
QwnCat from Mill Basin says:
what are the fees for out of town visitors vacationing ?
June 18, 2013, 3:58 pm

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