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You Told Us: Should The Tennis Club Remain in Queensboro Oval Park?

By Shaye Weaver | May 12, 2016 3:06pm
 Queensboro Oval park without the tennis bubble.
Queensboro Oval park without the tennis bubble.
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Bradley Cohen

You Told Us is a regular feature highlighting comments from users in the communities DNAinfo New York covers.

UPPER EAST SIDE — A group of locals are trying to convince the city not to renew its license with a private tennis company that has been taking up space at their local public park.

The Queensboro Oval, a roughly 1-acre patch of park below the Queensboro Bridge near 59th Street, is taken up by a private tennis bubble for nine months of the year.

Community Board 8 is hosting a rally on June 25 to alert residents that their public park is being used by a private entity and to kick off their effort to get the city to open it as a year-round park for everyone.

Readers took to Neighborhood Square last week to sound off on what they think should be done with the space — and the majority said they'd like to see it remain as a tennis bubble.

► "In previous years during the warm weather months, this space was used for softball games. In colder months, it was just a big empty dirt space. Other than dog walking, the tennis club has not infringed on any other activity. The Parks Department and neighborhood tennis players have both benefited from the club. Unless the Parks Department wants to plant trees, grass and a playground there, my  vote would be to allow the tennis club to remain," one reader commented.

► "I mean, really, is that a big deal? It's under the bridge. It's noisy and polluted. It's a horrible place for a 'park.' As long as the city is getting some American dollar money for it, it's probably better off covered," another said.

► "Keep it one of the few places New Yorkers can play tennis in the winter. I use it for their group plays which runs about $20/hr and those are not so easy to find," a reader wrote.

► "It is, in my opinion as a long-time resident of the UES, a great use of the space during the fall, winter and spring months. Also, other programs, such as the non-profit group Yorkville Youth Athletic Association, [should] use the facilities for tennis clinics for city kids. There is no other multi-court bubble on the East Side — you have to go over to Queens, Randall's or Roosevelt islands," another said.

► "Don't you know that homelessness is currently at its highest point since the 70s in NYC? If this park, located under the bridge, were to once again be open to the public...Guess what? You'd be complaining about the filth and abandonment the park brings to the neighborhood," said another reader.

But some others feel it's time to open the park for more than just tennis.

► "Rates are in the $160 range. Yes, if 8 poor people split an hour each playing for about 10 minutes, the fee is $20 each. This is preposterous. Plus, poor people don't play tennis but they do use public parks and this is a public park taken over by the wealthy. We want our park back," one commenter said.

► "If this space becomes a 'park,' then let it be a park, with a playground, benches and shade trees. An open basketball court or soft ball diamond is not a true park. And yes, the area does need green space, not what this place was," another said.