ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Tennis players in Aberdeen are speaking out about a university’s announcement that it will remove half its tennis courts to make room for new soccer and football practice fields.
The Aberdeen Community Tennis Association met with the president of Northern State University to protest the plan to remove six of its 12 tennis courts, the Aberdeen American News reported .
“Plans like this are not perfect,” said university President Tim Downs. “There was no intent to do anything that would offend any one individual or group of individuals.”
Tennis players said one of the bigger frustrations is a lack of inclusion in the planning process for the removal and other changes affecting the sport in the area.
Aberdeen’s tennis community has faced several hits in the last 15 years. Players lost courts at the old Central High School site, at Melgaard Park and at the Aberdeen Aquatics Center site. They also lost the women’s tennis program at Northern in 2013.
“We’re not doing something to tennis. We didn’t come in and say, ‘To heck with tennis, to heck with the community and to heck with people that play tennis in the community,'” Downs said. “That was not our intent. If that’s ever been the impression I do apologize for that.”
Downs said after hearing the concerns that the university will review its options and see what can be done.
Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com