Anyone for tennis?
The United States Tennis Association sure is – so much so that the organization is pledging more than $10 million to fund Flushing Meadows Corona Park if it means City Council approval for its National Tennis Center expansion plan.
Capital New York reports that the U.S. Open organizer has promised $5 million for capital projects, $350,000 a year for three years for maintenance and programming, and then $200,000 a year for the following 20 years; in addition to the $500,000 it pays each year to the city’s general fund.
“We are confident that in partnership with the local Queens communities and elected officials, we will ensure a better Flushing Meadows Corona Park and National Tennis Center,” USTA executive director and C.O.O. Gordon Smith said, in a statement.
The City Planning Commission in May voted to approve the USTA’s $500 million renovation and expansion of the National Tennis Center after it agreed to more than double the city parkland being lost through the project.
Flushing, Queens community members had opposed the use of a 0.68-acre strip of city parkland, but the USTA agreed to replace the parkland with two 1.56 acre parcels.
The USTA wants to renovate and expand the 42-acre center to the tune of $500 million, with plans to replace the aging Louis Armstrong Stadium, build a new Grandstand Stadium, add two parking garages and replace seven tennis courts.