FAQ – GGPTC Renovation Project

Q. When will the renovation take place and how long will it take?

A. There are many variables (successful fundraising, public entitlements, etc.) but our current schedule shows an anticipated construction start Q2 2019.  If we can hold to a 16-month construction schedule, we look forward to opening the newest public tennis facility in California in 2020, just in time for Golden Gate Park's 150th anniversary!

Q. Will there be lights?

A. There will be focused, tennis-specific LED lighting which will allow for over 20,000 more hours of court time annually and to serve those who are not able to play during the day.

Q. What about security?

Security at night was raised as an issue and is also being addressed as part of the lighting plan.  Lighting is also key component for the exterior of the clubhouse along the entryway, however, to ensure wildlife are not to be disturbed at night, appropriate levels of lighting will be adjusted during the evenings. We want everyone to feel safe and be safe at the new GGPTC.

Q. Will there be a café and pro shop?

A. The current plan would have a small pro shop behind the check-in desk which will sell items like tennis balls and grips. One or two stringing machines are also being planned for. At the moment we plan to have fresh food vending machines as well as drinks and coffee. Current plans include a small kitchen (refrigerator, microwave, sink, dishwasher) which can be used for team parties and other events.

Q. How much will the renovation cost?

A. At the moment, the entire renovation project is estimated to cost about $27 million. That budget will be finalized once there are bids in from contractors in early 2019. Court and hardscape construction, utilities, grading, building construction and their associated costs make up the majority of the budget.

We have made great progress in the past two years, and as of late November 2018, we have raised 83% of the $27M budget. In addition to design, construction and development costs, funding will support important site-specific and infrastructure needs that must be addressed, including:

  • Mitigating major drainage and seismic issues to avoid future cracking and erosion
  • Installing an electrical extension to support high-speed wi-fi and court lights that will extend playtime into the evenings, among other needs
  • Unique costs associated with protecting Golden Gate Park – a national historic district – and showing the respect and care that such a unique and prestigious designation merits.

Q. Who will pay for it?

A. This is a gift to the city of San Francisco. The Tennis Coalition SF (fiscally sponsored by the SF Parks Alliance) plans to raise the majority of funds from foundations, grants and individual donors. SF Rec & Park will be providing almost $4 million of park bond dollars to fund the construction and electrical connection required for the new GGTPC.

Q. Will there be additional parking?

A. There are no plans for increased parking although there will be additional bike racks both on the exterior and interior of the new clubhouse. This is considered a Class 2 facility by SF Planning and does not require any more than existing on-street parking. That being said, we will have a safe pullout area for drop-offs and pick-ups, and ADA-required parking.

Q. Can we host a professional event?

A. The Tennis Coalition’s focus is on revitalizing the 117-year-old San Francisco Open with the support of Taube Philanthropies. It’s going to be a community-driven event providing access to everyone and we hope to draw players from all over California with many different flights and levels of play.

Q.  Will there be ping pong tables in the clubhouse, like there are now?

A. There will be two ping-pong tables which may be used during posted hours. Those hours will be determined by the operator.

Q. Will reservation rates change?

A. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors sets rates for all City-owned facilities and recently approved a slight increase in Tennis Center fees, which had not been increased in over 20 years. The new hourly fees are:

Weekdays: $8 (residents); $12 (non-residents)
Weekends and evenings: $9; $15
Seniors*: $4; $6
Youth*: no fee; $12
USTA matches**: $18; $18

*Youth and senior discounted fees are available only during off-peak hours. The times will be established by the Operator but are expected to be weekdays before 3 p.m. for seniors and before 6 p.m. for youth.
**Fees for non-USTA tournaments will be subject to negotiation but will in no event be less than the USTA rate.

Q.  Will there be Pickleball courts at new center?

A. We are proud that this public facility will include the first permanent pickleball court in San Francisco! In addition, two courts will have blended stripes for pickleball. Which courts have yet to be determined. The pickleball court will be lighted.

Q. What is TLC and how will it affect the new Tennis Center? How can I get involved?

A. The SFRPD Tennis and Learning Center (TLC) is a program motivated by the desire to provide underserved youth with recreation opportunities and educational support not otherwise readily available in their schools or neighborhoods. It is based on the extremely successful EPATT (East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring) program. For more details, go to http://sfrecpark.org/palegas-tennis-learning-center-tlc-program/

In partnership with SF Rec & Parks, the Coalition sees the space at the new Tennis Center to be aspirational and inspirational for our youth. Our hope is it will be a place where elementary school children can advance their tennis skills as they transition to middle school from their neighborhood programs.

Even now, the Tennis Coalition is working with SF Rec & Parks to develop an advisory board to help develop volunteer opportunities for those who want to give back and work with kids who are part of the tennis and tutoring program. There will be on-the-court and in-the-classroom roles for volunteers as well as fundraising opportunities.

Q. What will be the hours of operation?

A. We expect the facility to be open for use every day of the year from 6:30 a.m. until closing at 10 p.m.

Q. What about the courts? Will there be drying equipment? A webcam? Windscreens?

A. We expect windscreens will be installed to minimize impact from wind. Certainly there will be squeegees and if the operator finds them effective, might provide blowers as well. Running low-voltage wiring out to all the courts necessary for webcams is currently not part of the design. Because the facility is expected to be staffed from 6:30 am to 10 pm daily, the selected operator will be in charge of reporting real time court conditions. We do plan on electrical outlets to some of the courts for ball machine use.

Q. Who is going to run the new tennis center?

A. The Golden Gate Park Tennis Center includes many partners: SF Rec & Parks, Tennis Coalition SF, Tennis Learning Center (TLC), SF Parks Alliance. Together, they will work with an experienced tennis facility operator who will be undergo a public selection process. The selected operator will be on site to manage the facility on a daily basis to maximize public access. Balancing all of the user demands while ensuring plenty of court time for recreational and drop-in play will require a skillful hand.

Q. Where will I play when these courts are under construction?

A. As players, we are blessed to live in a city with more than 150 public tennis courts at our disposal. During the time of construction, there will be as many as 130 public courts throughout the City as well as other public entities such as City College, SFSU and high schools. In addition, SF Rec & Parks is exploring the option of public court reservations for US Tennis Association scheduled league matches. (which might also include weekday evenings during certain times of the year). While the length of construction may seem like a long time to be away from your “home courts,” we assure you it will be well worth playing on other courts for those few months when you come back to your new facility.

Q. How will you ensure a balanced usage of the tennis courts?

A. Current usage has been examined and taken into account, as has the greater usage anticipated with the new facility including night lights and an experienced operator. The submissions by interested operators through the RFP process will include their projected court schedules and will be evaluated as part of the RFP selection process. The selected operator will be expected to balance the diverse recreation needs of tennis players of all ages and skill levels. As a result, the selected operator will be expected to manage recreational play, lessons, clinics, challenge courts, ball machine rental, league, scholastic, drop-in play and more. The operator selection and lease negotiations process will include ongoing public feedback which will allow the public to ensure an equitable and balanced use of the tennis courts.