This past Sunday, January 8th marks the beginning of a new era of tennis at McCarren Park. Now players can play year-round thanks to a bubble that recently erected over the courts, but the luxury of playing indoors comes at a price ($40-$75 per hour) and has aroused some controversy. Chintan Trivedi, a real estate agent, built the heated dome at the park. A tennis coach from the Bronx, Trivedi explained that it was a lifelong dream to create a year-round tennis venue to teach the sport to kids. The bubble will be dismantled each April, but new lights will illuminate the courts year-round.

Use of the covered “U.S Open-like” courts ain’t cheap though. It costs $40 to $55 per hour from Monday through Friday, depending on the time of day that the reservation is made, and rates going up from $50 to $55 per hour for Saturdays and Sundays. This is on top of the $200 that players pay for a permit during warmer months. Season passes cost between $910 to $1,495, depending on the hours covered by the pass. Seniors can get an hourly rate of $15, and a 10 percent season pass discount. McCarren Tennis Center also offers semi-private and group lessons for children, juniors, and adults. Online booking isn’t currently available, but for info on reserving the courts you can email

The erection of the tennis bubble continues a pattern of public private partnerships, not just in McCarren Park, but also across the city. In 2010, the McCarren Tennis Association raised around $40,000 and resurfaced the run-down courts, so now the surfaces on the courts are in excellent condition. Sean Hoess, the president of the association explained, “We realized the city wasn’t going to do it, so we found a way to do it ourselves,” Trivedi will pay the city 5% of his gross, with that fee rising to 10% of over time. Previously, use of the courts from October to April was free, if players could stand cold weather. Hoess commented, “Having lights, maintained courts, and the ability to play during winter is a bigger win than the loss of those free months. ” Some people, though, have expressed anger that a formerly free public facility is no longer free and is being run for profit by an outside vendor, but many die-hard local tennis fans are excited about the chance to play year round so close to home.

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *