Game, set, match

Players could be serving up aces at Red Deer’s new indoor tennis centre as early as next week.

Players could be serving up aces at Red Deer’s new indoor tennis centre as early as next week.

City council unanimously endorsed an agreement on Tuesday allowing the Red Deer Tennis Club to operate its indoor tennis bubble on city land.

As part of the deal, the club must remove it by Aug. 11, 2013.

The $650,000 air-supported structure was installed recently over the south four tennis courts at 4402 47th Ave.

The domed structure could open early next week once the handicapped-accessible area is finished and final inspections are done. The bubble runs 36 metres wide by 60 metres long, and nearly 11 metres high.

Councillor Cindy Jefferies called it a “dream come true” for the tennis club, adding the bubble will be a great addition for the community.

Mark Jones, chairman of the club’s building fund, said it was an outstanding day for the club.

“It allows people to play the sport all year-round in what we consider to be a world-class facility,” said Jones outside council chambers.

“We start our actual program on October 1 when our outdoor season ends,” Jones said.

The summer programs have attracted more than 200 members.

“Within the next 24 months, we hope to double that capacity and continue to build it from there,” Jones said.

Calgary and Edmonton both have bubbles with six courts.

Jones said the tennis club wanted its complex to be spacious, plus have a large observation area where parents could watch their children play.

The tennis club has hosted a number of tournaments, including provincials for juniors.

Jones said Tennis Alberta plans to use Red Deer’s dome for its high-performance athletes. As well, the club will host a minimum of six tournaments over the winter.

The club raised money through government grants, donations and through its membership

The city also supports the tennis club by providing landscaping, court resurfacing and fencing, Jones added.

Jones said the tennis club another group, which he didn’t name, plans to buy the dome once the agreement with the city ends in 2013.

“The hope was to have a bubble open last year, and have it going for five seasons. Then with an economic downturn, we lost a year out of that,” Jones said.

The tennis club hopes to one day have a permanent indoor facility in the area known as Rotary Recreation Park. The city is working with consultants on devising a recreational facility plan for the area, which includes the tennis courts, Red Deer Arena and Kinex Arena.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

BREAKING: Alberta election set for April 16

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Camper found in good health at Pinto Lake

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue respond

Red Deer city council to consider starting a bike registry

Coun. Buck Buchanan suggested it would help police return recovered stolen property

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Reliance on equalization not a factor in Quebec’s low productivity rate: author

MONTREAL — Despite low unemployment and a strong economy, Quebec continues to… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Most Read