Tennis up-and-comers in the Bronx have something to be excited about this winter: some new Farley Group bubbles! Recently completed, this is another of our projects that we’re overjoyed to talk about.
Tennis is a sport where outdoor courts are necessary, but in wintery areas, the seasonality of the sport can hinder the development of young players. Tennis bubbles are leveling the playing field between those who train up North and those in the Southern states where the courts are clear year-round.
Welcome to Crotona Park. This NYC park nestles just south of the center of the northernmost of the five boroughs, the Bronx. Winters get cold with temperatures dropping down to an average of 25.5?F (-3.6?C) and having an average snowfall of 26.6 inches every year. Not your typical spot for year-round tennis!
But young tennis players in New York were in dire need of a place to play, and so non-profit organization, New York Junior Tennis & Learning (NYJTL) struck a public/private partnership to create a training space in one of New York’s finest parks. The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning was born from another public-private partnership. The facility officially launched on June 15, 2015.
To keep the facility open year-round, the decision was made to use air-supported structures to create perfect playing conditions, even in the middle of winter. The seasonal tennis bubbles go up before every winter, and this year we inflated the domes for the first time. The bubbles are insulated, to keep the cold outside and off the courts.
Something unique about this project is that there isn’t one, but two bubbles—each covering five tennis courts. The dual domes makes it easy to have multiple games and events happening at the same time. Both domes are connected with a special tunnel and airlock system. Coaches can zip back and forth between bubbles without ever needing to step outside.
The Cary Leeds Centre is within walking distance of 43 different schools, which means it’s accessible and available to over 30,000 children. After-school programs, training sessions, and camps are available year-round. The facility even offers free community tennis programs where children can come and learn to play tennis. All they need to do is bring their sneakers and water, and be ready to have a great time.
One of the greatest challenges facing developing athletes in the northern States and Canada is the seasonality of training. Some sports, such as tennis, can become difficult to train for during the winter months. A distinct advantage goes to a developing athlete that has access to their training grounds throughout the year. Bubbles even the playing field by allowing a training athlete to train in the same space when the snow starts falling.
The Farley Group are proud of these domes. Not only because of the hard work we put into designing, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining them, but because of what a facility like this will mean to the community and the future of the children that this project affects.
To read more about this amazing project, visit their website at www.caryleedstennis.org.