In his letter to Newsday, USTA Eastern Long Island Regional Director Jonathan Klee explained how the high cost of running an indoor tennis club in an area with some of the country’s highest property values, tax assessments and energy costs, has the potential to threaten the "financial viability" of some local clubs.
While I am fortunate that my facility is financially solvent, I can reinforce that the margins are thin in operating an indoor tennis club, and the shutdown has hurt.
Klee writes, "Social distancing indoors can easily be accomplished in tennis facilities."
He is right and it should be noted that indoor tennis facilities are high volume spaces with 40-foot ceilings. The area of a court is large for the number of people accommodated in normal play and further, these buildings have good turnover ventilation especially in bubbles which have a very high air turnover rate.
We need to put safety first and as we reopen and indoor tennis play should be high on the list of "safe" activities and should be permitted to reopen.
Steven Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.