Group Hopes To Bring Indoor Tennis Back To Watertown


If you're a racket-swinging, headband-wearing, tennis fanatic, the north country isn't exactly nirvana.

That's why a group of north country residents brought the idea of indoor courts to Watertown's city council Monday night.

The tentative cost is $400,000 for two courts built onto the back of the Fairgrounds YMCA.

The group says it can raise that money

"It's achievable and it's feasible," said Cyril Mouaikle, a spokesman for the group, "but it'll take time and a lot of effort from everyone to get there, hopefully soon."

The group is already working with the YMCA. The hitch to the plan is that the land is city park property.

So the group has to get the city's approval and the city has to get the state legislature's approval to use the land for tennis courts.

"It's a long process because of the state Legislature and the fact that it is park land, and there are procedures that have to be met in order for this to transpire." city council member Joe Butler said.

So what about other places to build?

Mouaikle says he wouldn't support a privately run business and JCC already turned him down.

According to him, the Y is perfect. The same staff would run the courts and once the building was up, the group wouldn't have to worry about it.

"We have to look at who has been successful at running this type of enterprise," Mouaikle said, "and the Y is one example of a very successful organization.

"That's why we would partner with the YMCA," he said.

Mouaikle wouldn't comment on how much money donors have pledged so far.

As for the time line, the mayor remarked there would be no way to get a structure up by fall.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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