It was a small crowd of people making a potentially giant decision whether to allow an expanded season at Sutton East, a tennis club under a bubble beneath the Queensborough Bridge on the far East Side, according to NY 1.
"These are the facts -- 2,000 people play tennis at the Queensboro Oval every week, 17 hours a day in a location that's convenient, safe and open rain or shine. We employ more than 50 people, we charge no membership fees, people can play and take classes on our courts for as little as $45 an hour," said Sutton East Owner Tony Skolnick.
Opponents to year-round tennis say residents should not have to pay to play on public land.
"The issue here is not tennis versus softball, it's not rich versus poor and it's not who uses it," said Upper East Side resident Bob Bailin. "The issue here is this is a public space, this is a public park that's being sold to a private entity, that's the issue."
After listening to testimony from both sides, Community Board 8 rejected the city and the tennis concession's proposal to have tennis in the bubble all year long, opting to leave the arrangement as it is -- eight months for tennis, four for other activities like softball when the bubble is down.
NY1 - March 17, 2010 - By Rebecca Spitz
New York Times City Room - March 18, 2010 , By ELISA MALA
A Walk In The Park - February 17, 2010