A private vendor will build an all-weather bubble over the McCarren Park tennis courts this fall, allowing aficionados to play through the winter months.
Chintan Trivedi, a tennis coach and real estate agent from the Bronx, said it was his lifelong dream to create a year-round tennis venue where he could teach the sport to kids.
“There are a lot of tennis-loving people around here and they should be able to play year-round, and the kids should have more to do during the summer,” said Trivedi, who, along with his partners, is laying out $160,000 to build the heated bubble.
The bubble will cover McCarren’s six full-sized and two half-sized courts from October until the end of April. Hourly rates will run from $35 to $57.50, while season passes will run from $910 to $1,495, depending on which hours are covered in the pass. Seniors will get an hourly rate of $15 an hour, and 10 percent off season-pass rates.
The city will initially take a five percent cut on admission, which will go up to 10 percent in future years.
The bubble was originally approved two years ago but it took Trivedi and his partners until now to get all necessary paperwork in order.
The McCarren Tennis Association raised $70,000 to repair the decrepit courts in 2011. Now, the bubble will mean that the courts will be taken care of even if the notoriously underfunded Parks Department ignores it, said McCarren Tennis Association spokesman Sean Hoess.
“The courts will finally be maintained and there will finally be lights,” said Hoess.
Cons to the bubble include having to pay higher fees in months that the courts have traditionally been free, something bubble advocates say is worth it, because the courts will actually be usable when it otherwise wouldn’t.
“But at least you’ll be able to play,” said Hoess. “Playing tennis outside in November is challenging.”Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@c