Mistlin Sports Park could one day be home to a regional tennis center.
That’s the goal of the Love-Love Ripon Tennis Foundation.
The community-based group is working with the City of Ripon on a plan to initially develop six new community tennis courts at Mistlin Sports Park using private sector funding.
The long-range goal is for a 12-court complex along with a center court with bleacher seating and a clubhouse.
The group intends to share information about the project during a tennis playday scheduled for the existing Ripon Community Center tennis courts on Fourth Street during an event on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Foundation President Di Quaresma said the City of Ripon’s willingness to set aside land at Mistlin Sports Park for the development of the regional tennis center will help fast track their efforts to get courts in place.
That’s because the foundation doesn’t have to worry about securing land. It also won’t have to develop parking or extend infrastructure such as water to the site given Mistlin Park has that in place already.
As a result, the foundation members are confident the first six courts could be in place in relatively short order.
Alex Lopez, who serves as director of the popular City of Ripon tennis program, added the complex not only would benefit the growing tennis community in Ripon, but eventually be a regional tennis tournament center for the Northern California United States Tennis Association (USTA).
The closest venues with enough courts to host a regional tournament are Oak Park in Stockton with two less courts than envisioned in Ripon as well as those west of the Altamont Pass.
Ripon is centrally located to take advantage of the rapid growth of South County San Joaquin County as well as Stanislaus County.
Not only would that draw people from Tracy, Manteca, Lathrop, Mountain House, Stockton, and Modesto to community clinics and tournaments, but regional level competition drawing on players from throughout the north state is a strong possibility. As such it could mimic the success Manteca has enjoyed with the Big League Dreams sports complex as well as the Woodward Park lighted soccer complex.
Manteca, five years ago, tracked regional soccer and softball tournaments. The events were filling not just Manteca hotels on the weekend but spilling bookings over into hotels in nearby Lathrop and Ripon as well.
Participants and their families also were spending money in Manteca restaurants as well as buying gas. In the event of multiple-day tournament they often ended up shopping at Bass Pro Shops or hitting entertainment venues such as the Manteca bowling alley.
The City of Ripon is resurfacing the city’s six existing tennis courts as part of a $400,000 project.
Board members note that just serving the needs of Ripon, the six existing city courts are inadequate
In addition, pickleball is gaining in popularity meaning there is a growing competition for court time.
Adding tennis courts to the Ripon Community Center also makes no sense.
That’s because it would require taking out adjoining playing fields.
There is also the issue of nearby industrial park noises including idling truck as well as limited parking.
For more information on the Saturday, Sept. 10, play day or the tennis court project call 209-985-5630.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org