Tennis players organize protest against Sarasota Orchestra

Tennis players organize protest against Sarasota Orchestra

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Last week, the Sarasota Orchestra announced plans to build a new facility over the tennis courts at Payne Park, and relocate the courts elsewhere in the park. But many players aren’t taking that well. They say the proposed area isn’t meant for tennis courts.

“The consolation of being on swamp land to build tennis courts is less than an afterthought. It is behind these courts next to an auditorium that even the homeless don’t situate there. We don’t believe these 12 tennis courts that we love and schedule our lives around should be paved over at any price," said Sami Leigh Scott, a tennis player who is organizing the opposition to the orchestra’s plans.

Orchestra officials like the idea of Payne Park since there is a nearby parking garage already in place--even though it is several football fields away.

Protesters plan to attend Tuesday night’s community meeting to discuss its proposal with the public. The meeting will be located at City Hall.

There are some tennis players who see this an opportunity. They want the courts rebuilt along the School Avenue side of Payne Park, and include a bigger parking lot and two-story clubhouse.

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