Denver tennis facility nears final approval

Photo: The proposed Denver Tennis Park site layout presented for public comment on March 24th

We told you about a proposed new tennis center at South High a year ago and now the project appears closer to fruition than ever.

A Denver sport that toils without a great deal of public visibility is DU men’s and women’s tennis. Historically, Denver has had both singles and doubles players ranked in the top 10 nationally and has a proud tradition of success. However, men’s head coach Ricardo Rubio and women’s head coach Christian Thompson have been fighting an uphill recruiting battle armed with a small and aging outdoor Stapleton Tennis Center with no on-campus indoor courts. Despite success with Summit League titles, DU has been slipping nationally in the recruiting battles.

It looks like DU tennis will be rewarded for their patience and steady success as the Denver Tennis Park moves to its final phase. On March 24th, there was a public hearing and a presentation made to the public regarding the proposed facility at South High School, immediately north of DU’s campus. The park will be located at the southeastern corner of Franklin Street with I-25 immediately to the south.

The facility will feature eight outdoor courts and seven indoor courts. The project is being privately funded by donors and will be used to the benefit of the public and the University of Denver.

According to documents, the public benefit will be a year-round district tennis venue accessible to Denver Public School (DPS) students, provide a venue for DPS coaches to improve on and off-season training and competitive opportunities for DPS tennis teams – during and after school, access for middle school and elementary schools students, and public outreach.

The key drivers for the University of Denver cited in the presentation include guaranteed access to indoor/outdoor courts which meet NCAA Division I requirements, great proximity to campus, practices, competitions, and tournaments for men and women at one venue. There will also be many opportunities for affiliation and collaboration with DPS and Denver youth programs.

While no final date was given for the start of construction, pending site plan changes will include final approvals following public input and will include partner sign-off. This process will involve the Board of Education, The University of Denver, and the private donors/partners to the project.

This is very exciting on a number of levels. This is a first for the University as it continues to address cramped space on campus and address inadequate athletic facilities for tennis. This will help ensure that they remain relevant and successful in their Division I ambitions. There was no space on campus for a facility of this scale. Additionally, this dovetails with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp’s vision to see the DU campus and community more closely integrated with the Denver community at large.

We’ll keep you updated on the project once construction activities are approved and as they break ground on the facility.

13 thoughts on “Denver tennis facility nears final approval”

  1. This Tennis facility is needed and the drawings look good. Kudos to those who are making it happen – its a great model for future facility cooperation between DU and the City of Denver/DPS.

    The only question I would have is that on the drawing depicted, the court footprint seem to be quite tightly packed in by the DPS baseball grandstand, which could be problematic if DU ever decides it wants to go D-I in baseball and wants a similar DPS partnership to upgrade that baseball stadium there to D-I standards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure of the feasibility but many D-1 lax programs have indoor winter training facilities. Stapleton Tennis Pavillion may be ideal for a dome but not sure that would meet the campus aesthetics and cost, too. Also, it would likely mean tennis on-campus for students would be lost during the winter.

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  3. I would normally not be a fan of any “off campus” facility. But this one is so close to DU, and DU’s existing space is so limited, where I think it makes good sense. Sounds like the team will just have to make the trek a couple blocks west down Buchtel, and then north over the I-25 overpass. (I’m assuming that no new “overpass” or “underpass” will be necessary.)

    The article says it is by I-25 and Downing…is that correct? I would think that this would be I-25 and Franklin. Also, wondering what they will do with the existing tennis facility–keep it, or make space for something else?

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  4. A much needed facility! If possible, making it available for adult recreational players/USTA leagues would be great, too. There would likely be high demand for memberships, similar to how Coors Fitness Center is run.

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  6. I just hope that they will add multiple PICKLEBALL courts. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country. In so many places, tennis courts are being converted to pickleball courts. Pickleball is more accessible, easier to learn than tennis. I would love to see pickleball courts there, with a cushy surface, like the ones at Apex, in Arvada. The foam layer is much more comfortable and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Need to know about employment opportunities when new Tennis Park is complete. Have a tennis pro gal now in Arizona Interested. She worked for DPS several years ago and coached Special Ed South High School girls tennis.

    Liked by 1 person

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