Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Responses to this website

(Recieved this on January 5, 2011 from someone who googled "privatization of public tennis courts")

Dear Al,
We had a similar situation in Miami Beach. Before 2002, our two public clay tennis facilities were managed by the city. Now operations are handled by a private company that keeps all revenue (membership fees, lessons, clinics, stringing, food). The operator pays the city rent every month.

Pros: We have a famous name (Bollitieri) running the joint which adds to the facilities's prestige, quality lessons and clinics. Lots and lots of childrens' programs for under 10 years old.

Cons: The operator is responsible for court maintenance and janitorial services so the less he spends (on clay material, or toilet paper) the more money in his pocket. The operator enjoys a monopoly, therefore no incentive to improve.  The operators attitude can be very nasty and they don't care because they are the boss and there is no one we can complain too. The operator creates tennis programs that bring in the most profit for him, not the most enjoyment for the residents. Prices for pro shop beverages , private lessons, and usage fees keep rising faster then the city run sport activities. For example, the park's heated pool is run by the city and it is free.

I am concerned that the city choose the tennis operator without sending it out to bid. Miami Beach had 5 bidding companies. Also the tennis players should have been on the evaluation committee to choose the management company. In Miami Beach there are 4 residents and 3 city employees who interview, evaluate, and vote on best bid. The winning bid is then brought to the commissions as a recommendation, then the commissioners vote to choose.

The tennis community was very unset with the maintenance of our courts, we complained to city officials who ignored us. So we organized ourselves, formed an association and now elected officials and city administrators listen to our group. We send lots of emails and 40 of us show up as a group to commission meetings.

If you need advise or want to bounce ideas off me don't hesitate to contact me.  

Kind Regards,
Gayle Durham
Miami Beach Tennis Players Association  (
Cell 201-315-5363
1455 West Ave., #804, Miami Beach, FL 33139