Niagara Falls partners with firm to add domes over tennis courts for winter play

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Published May 11, 2023 at 4:18 pm

This is what the air-inflated dome over the tennis courts at John N. Allen Park will look like.

While the residents had mixed feelings about the project, Niagara Falls is going to partner with Tennis Clubs of Canada (TCC) to construct an air-inflated dome over the tennis courts at John N. Allen Park during the fall and winter each year.

The dome will allow residents the opportunity to play indoor tennis, pickleball and cricket during the snowy months.

The main bone of contention among constituents was that the existing courts are now available to residents free of charge during the spring and summer but when the dome goes up and it’s converted to indoor use on October 1 every year, there will be a fee to play.

However, TCC, which will manage the tennis dome, says memberships and bookings will be priced at an affordable rate, discounted for Niagara Falls residents. They also offer a wide range of programs, camps and tournaments for players of all ages that would require a registration fee.

The city noted that residents who enjoy outdoor tennis courts in the winter could still use the outdoor courts at AG Bridge Park (6706 Culp St) free of charge year-round.

In a report given to Niagara Falls City Council on Tuesday (May 9) that was written by Rob McDonald, City Manager of Arenas & Customer Service, it was noted that the city was offered the air-inflated tennis dome partnership with TCC in January.

Noting that Niagara Region currently has 10 indoor tennis courts for winter use, none are located in Niagara Falls.

“Tennis, pickleball and cricket are activities that are increasing in popularity in Niagara and we continue to see demand for additional time,” said McDonald in the report. “The tennis dome increases available hours for these activities during the winter months. Participation in these sports positively contributes to physical, mental and social well-being.”

The entire cost of the air inflated dome will be footed by the TCC, including the dome purchase, installation and removal each year, mechanical equipment, washrooms and staffing resources to operate.

It is expected the City will see $10,000 in new revenues from the tennis dome in the first year with that number jumping by three per cent annually in subsequent years.

However, McDonald added that initially the some costs to the City, including asphalting the existing stone parking lot – with 48 spaces, he estimated that would cost $250,000 – as well as adding parking lot lighting. As well, the City would have to be responsible for snow removal every winter just as they do for other rec facilities.

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