Oct 7, 2009 9:56 PM by David Ortiviz
After years of neglect, some public tennis courts throughout the city of Pueblo have become deserted wastelands. The City Parks Department has closed six of its nine locations, despite recommendations to add more courts.
More than a third of the city's tennis courts have been declared closed because the concrete is cracking and becuase of shifts in the foundation the posts aren't able to hold nets properly, according to the parks department. The eleven tennis courts are sprinkled around the city at various parks.
"Soon after they were built, they started falling into a state of disrepair," said Mike Sexton, with the City Parks Department. Sexton says many of the courts were built poorly in the 1970s. He estimates it would cost about $30,000 a piece to fix the courts.
With other maintenance expenses, the park's department says tennis is not a priority, especially because they say interest is declining. "We have converted some tennis courts into basketball courts, because of the neighborhoods, they didn't play tennis," said Sexton.
However, that's in contrast to a private consultant's report last year, that recommended the parks department do more to improve tennis. In fact, the report recommended the city should build seven more courts over the next three years.
The city parks department says without more city funding, that dream will stop short at the net.