Raleigh, N.C. — The number of tennis players in the Triangle is booming, from 5,000 players 20 years ago to more than 15,000 local players, according to the Raleigh Tennis Association.
The booming number of tennis players are having a hard time finding places to play, though.
There are only 110 tennis courts in Raleigh, and the last time one was built was 20 years ago.
Julie Dick with the Raleigh Tennis Association said the number of courts is not keeping up with surging interest in the sport.
“My son is 16,” Dick said. “He’s been playing since he was 5. I think he needs tennis like he needs air.”
A big part of that need revolves around tournament play.
The Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center is one of a few venues in Raleigh that can host tournaments because it has enough courts. But many places don’t have the capacity to host a larger gathering of players.
“There’s a lot of two-court facilities, three-court facilities,” said David Bell, tennis director for the City of Raleigh.
Building more courts is the easy solution, but Bell said the cost of a new court is anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000, which covers nets and lights but not future maintenance—and courts aren’t getting any cheaper.