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This article was published 9/5/2017 (1725 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mark Arndt is hoping it will be game, set and match when the future of the golf course at the Winnipeg Canoe Club is decided.
Arndt, the executive director of Tennis Manitoba, said the organization has submitted a proposal to the City for the construction of a tennis facility at the club that includes eight outdoor courts, including a stadium court that seats around 1,000 people, as well as locker rooms, washrooms and showers.
Such a facility would prove to be the best case scenario for the city’s tennis community, Arndt said.
"We’re in the process of getting our ducks in a row," Arndt said.
"When the lease expires, it could still be used for golf, or the land could be repurposed. There’s a lot of space for something else to go in there, so there could be a combination of things."
Earlier this year, Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) announced he had gained approval for $1 million from the 2017 City budget for "re-invention" of the Canoe Club, which is owned by the City and is open to the public. Mayes said the City leases out operations and maintenance of the course to a private operator, whose lease expires in 2019, and that there will be public discussions and community consultation about the future of the space. He said the goal is to have a plan in place by June 2018.
Noting that many options are currently being considered for the future use of the course, Mayes said he recently met with staff at Glenlawn Collegiate to explore the possibility of adding facilities that the school’s students could use for physical education.
"Tennis Manitoba was quick of the gate, and has been very good to deal with. We’re hoping for lots of public input in this process," Mayes said, adding that environmental factors such as riverbank stabilization also need to be considered.
"And this doesn’t necessarily mean that the golf course is doomed. The course has been reconfigured twice already. I’ve also met with the cricket guys and the soccer guys, and everyone is still in the running in this open process. I’m hoping there will be a town hall about this in June."
Arndt said the layered benefits of a new tennis facility would stretch beyond the local grassroots level.
"Not only is the St. Vital area lacking in tennis courts, but the National Bank Challenger tournament in Winnipeg, which was held at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club last year, is a massive event, and we need to find a permanent home for it here as it’s growing. There is so much value to keeping here in Winnipeg," he said.
Mayes agreed that it would be a boon if the tournament stayed in Winnipeg.
"The Challenger tournament is a pretty big deal for the city, and we’ll need a home for that as its popularity grows," he said.
Go online at tennismanitoba.com to learn more about the organization.
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7111.