After being awarded the tennis concession on Randall’s Island in 2004, Sportime operated an existing facility on Randall’s Island while planning and subsequently constructing a new, state-of-the-art facility. The new facility, which opened in July 2009, features 20 tennis courts and related amenities for the public, including Sportime members, non-members, NYC Parks Permit Holders and school and CBO-based program participants.
As a concessionaire, Sportime does not own the Tennis Center; the land and all the facilities constructed are the property of the City of New York. Sportime operates the Tennis Center pursuant to a 20-year concession agreement; all operating expenses, including maintenance and housekeeping, utilities and ongoing capital improvements, are borne by Sportime.
In response to increased demand for the tennis court, over the past six years Sportime has been in discussions with the NYC Parks Department, Community Board 11, and local the elected officials regarding Sportime’s proposal to expand the tennis facility on Randall’s Island.
Restrictions on Lot E resulted in the relocation of the proposed Tennis Center expansion project to Randall’s Island Field #30, with which CB11 is very familiar. Sportime has spent the
7 last three years working in close collaboration with the community and its elected officials to shape the plan for the relocated expansion project.
The expansion proposal is as follows:
- $18 million of additional capital improvements to the existing facility, including 10 new courts, new and expanded support facilities, and four U-10 Learning Courts for public-only use
- Funding capital improvements to one or more community parks and youth play areas in East Harlem
- Installation of lighting at two Randall’s Island ball fields (#20 and #21) for night-time use by working families and local athletes, adding nearly 2,000 hours per year of evening field time from dusk until 11pm daily (7 days a week).
- Adding thousands of additional hours of tennis programming and recreation for neighborhood youth and others
Earlier in 2017, the City’s Law Department determined that the proposed expansion project is not eligible for certification into ULURP due to the change in location of the proposed expansion and the major concession rules.
The Law Department’s determination notwithstanding, as a concession that is seeking approval to expand its facilities and the length of its license term, the proposed project must undergo public review by, and receive approval from, the Franchise & Concession Review Committee (FCRC) in order for the expansion to move forward. The FCRC is overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and is the body that certifies compliance with laws and regulations for franchises and concessions.
In the course of evaluating expansion proposals such as this, the FCRC holds public hearings and receives advisory opinions from Community Boards, as well as input from elected officials.
Sportime is requesting that Community Board 11 review their proposed expansion plan and issue an advisory opinion to the FCRC before the FCRC evaluates and ultimately votes on their project.