Parks Department Approves Indoor Tennis Complex for Wesselman Park


Play Catch with me Please!!!

5 -0 Vote Seals the Deal, Wesselman to have Indoor Tennis


12:00 NOON




a. Request Re: Permission to Seek Quotes for Various Improvements for Fendrich, Helfrich
and McDonald Golf Courses. – Schall
b. Request Re: Permission to Seek Bids for Angel Mounds Boat Ramp Project. – Schall
c. Request Re: Permission to Purchase Tedder Boat Ramp System for Angel Mounds. – Schall
d. Request Re: Approve and Execute Contract with VPS Architecture for Feasibility Study of
Education Building and Administration Offices at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. –
e. Request Re: Approve and Execute Advertising Agreement with Comcast/Media Mix for
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. – Morris*
f. Request Re: Approve Closing Zoo Entry Gate at 3:00 pm and Grounds at 4:00 pm for
Preparations for June Brew on June 11, 2011. – Morris*
g. Request Re: Permission to Hold Safe Kids Vanderburgh/Warrick County Car Seat Clinic
at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden on August 20, 2011. – Morris*

*Recommendation from Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden Advisory Board.

a. Request Re: Open Bids for Turf Fertilizers and Chemicals. – Debbie Spalding/Mark Peters
b. Request Re: Approve and Execute LPA/INDOT Agreements for Arts, Glenwood, Hi Rail
Enterprise Corridor; Mid Levee Corridor; and Garvin/Governor/Stringtown Bike Lane
Corridor for the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage. – Boberg
c. Request Re: Review and Approve Evansville Community Tennis Association Proposal. –
Terry Clements

a. Request Re: EPD – Law Enforcement in City Parks. – Chief Hill
b. Request Re: Approve the Addition of Curb Cuts for ADA Accessibility on South Wabash
Avenue. – Schall
c. Request Re: Approve Budget Transfers and CIP Reprioritizations. – Schall/Morris
d. Request Re: Any Other Business the Board Wishes to Consider and Public Comments.

a. Fendrich Golf Course, Dave English
b. Helfrich Golf Course, Dave McAtee
c. McDonald Golf Course & Wesselman Par 3, Mike Wassmer
d. Dan Schall, Executive Director




  1. so we can’t cut the grass, pick up the used hypodermics,repair Lloyd pool, and make most of our parks a place where you would want to take your kids but we can build indoor tennis courts?

  2. I wonder how much the CVB wants to give to this project which would compete with the Tri-State Athletic Club? I predict the fiscal watchdog County Council will not approve the funding for this request as the outdoor tennis courts are not fully utilized. If there is such a demand for indoor tennis after the City killed the Executice Inn tennis club, why not put a few Anchor tents over the existing wesselman tennis courts. Why not use Roberts Stadium for tennis matches, didn’t Bobby Riggs play an exhibition match there?

    • I can appreciate your comments, ALTHOUGH there were many Tristate atletic club members at the meeting this week which stated again that THEY have no plans to leave TSAC. Also, this project is about the Evansville Community Tennis Association which promotes with one voice tennis for the Evansville Tri-state. We are promoting tennis for all age groups, that is why the public league play is already FULL all Spring, Summer and Fall. A community or SMA of 350,000 can not be supported by 4 or 5 private indoor courts for private members. WIth two universitys and the larger population, the accurate studies show that we can easily absorb 6 more indoor courts. This project will help grow Tri-States business over time for those who love tennis and also want a large Health Club environment with Swimming, arobics, tracks, basketball and other sports related excercise. New Winter leagues will fill up with the new Wesslemans winter league and the reality is there is no room for all the tennis players in Evansville at one club. So all in all , we are excited about how this project will grow tourism and travelors coming to Evansville with large tournaments and spending dollars here with our business/ hotels. The young school elementry/ middle school. highschool, college, adults, older adults and coed tennis players are extrememly supportuive to this project. So many opportunities to help the Evansville Parks system grow another dimension of its recreation mission and permit a project to help pay for itself over time.
      Lets all move forward and be extrememly proud of a ECTA project that pays for itself over time and actually promotes visitors and travelors to come to Evansville to what will be a Mid Western First Class facilty. My family has personally traveled in excess of 15 times per year out of Evansville and its clear from real experience, the Evansville community can place itself on the map for larger exciting tennis tournaments and community tennis leagues in the future with this project. Thats how we grow Evansville recreation, community tennis and our economic base.
      As a Long time citizen and proud user of Wesslemans Park, we naturally realize this is a public facility for all, hence belonging to the people… Let’s go forward…JIM THOMAS

  3. Props for this improvement, the city took out a great tennis club above the Executive Garage, a premier club, leaving the area with only a few indoor courts at TSTA, studies show that the Evansville area should have at least 10 to 13 indoor courts to accommodate the growing tennis market. As a sports consultant, I can assure you that this is a good thing for Evansville with tennis being one of the few sports, along with lacrosse, and volleyball, which are still growing. Jr and adult tournaments would bring money to the area, even in the winter months. It is also a public facility, hence belonging to the people… Let’s do it!

      • Why not you all are obsessed about saving a stadium on the same plot of earth. Evansville is sorely underserved in the indoor tennis market. About time for those of us who can’t afford the extreme prices of TSAC

        • 1. The stadium is already built and has done more for Evansville than any facility the Parks Dept has ever constructed can or will ever do.

          2. It’s not the same plot of earth. The stadium is off by itself while the tennis facility is right in the middle of the preserve.

          3. No new facility should get any funding until the Parks at Vann, Kleymeyer/Garvin, and Sunset are cleaned and fixed.

          • The park grounds are already covered with 12 courts in this area. ECTA’s plan has always been to add courts to the other side. The grounds they would be building on are NEVER used and would provide a great additional recreational facility. That should not be the concern here.

  4. Not sure, but I thought the local tennis club/group raised the funds for the tennis court improvements previously and I imagine the will raise the majority if not all via their same channels. Not sure if the CVB was involved previously or will be in this venture.

  5. “Various” is a broad term. I missed the meeting and was curious if this term was defined before it was approved to seek quotes??

    Request Re: Permission to Seek Quotes for Various Improvements for Fendrich, Helfrich
    and McDonald Golf Courses. – Schall

  6. Not what the majority are looking to do in the winter months. If they want to do something with Wesselman’s during the winter, then why not snowshoe rental, cross-country ski trails made on snow days?

      • Maybe not what you are looking to do in the winter months. The demand for winter tennis is immense, and continues to grow.

  7. Why not build a field house the entire residents will want to use during the winter months? It could include tennis & a place for kids to run off some energy when it’s cold outside?

  8. The tennis association has done well taking care of the tennis courts and the tennis building which they helped build at Wesselman park. However their proposal now is expanding too close to the Preserve and will take out the large grassy area which is the only good place for kids to play frisbee or touch football or…., as well as trees and other habitat for animals. They also would need to build a parking lot, again taking more park from the rest of us. The park is for the general public and just because the tennis assoc. has done okay so far, an indoor tennis facility is expensive to run and may become a burden too big for the assoc. to carry. It would then fall back to the city entailing more expense for the Parks Dept. which has told us there are no extra funds.
    The contract between the Parks Dept and the tennis assoc. ran out a few years ago and I think it is running without renewal. But in actuality, the tennis assoc. was to have gotten the money together for this expansion a couple of years ago and has not been able to do so. What makes them think that the CVB wants to support this idea? How can the Park Board approve something unless the whole package is presented to assure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed? The money has been the key all along.
    I really don’t understand why one would want to build a large building for indoor tennis when there is already a large building standing at the edge of the park and owned by the city i.e. Roberts Stadium. Surrounding Roberts Stadium is a fair amount of concrete which is already in place and ready to become many outdoor tennis courts. Keeping the stadium standing would allow it to be used for other events, that is, if the current admin. weren’t so afraid of the competition for the new arena. I think the desire of the city admin. to demolish Roberts, the CVB reassessing the ball fields, and the Park Board’s approval of the tennis assoc. proposal are all wrapped together. Sneak attack anyone?
    I was told by Mr. Clements last fall that the tennis association was not interested in Roberts or the area around it because it was too far away from the existing courts in Wesseman Park and players would have to walk too far. Aren’t these players there for exercise? Are they not athletic? Are they lazy? Actually there could be as many courts constructed around the stadium as needed and still have plenty of parking for any event that was needed, and indeed, some of the parking could be removed and everything would still work. With the stadium floor being flattened, there would be tons of room for tennis, and many other sports, or events. If, for some weird reason (a lightening strike, or a tidal wave), the stadium was torn down, then the land there could be used for the tennis association to build their building and many courts. This would still leave the current courts for the general public to used. The public does not often get to use these courts at their pleasure.
    I was interested to note that the sports consultant’s note above had no remarks of concern for the park itself. But I have great concerns. A public park is for all the public, not only the sports minded or athletic. I also am dismayed that there is no mention of this whole idea being another squeeze on the Preserve. People, this is the only Park of its kind in the world!!! Put development some place else. Let Wesselman alone. Another thing that a Park Board member told me during a board meeting was that they originally looked at Wesselman and the old state hospital grounds when first signing the contract with the tennis assoc. They decided on Wesselman because (a loose quote) ” “those people over there really use the state hospital grounds!” As if the folks don’t use Wesselman? As if maybe the concern should have been to buffer the preserve? As if there wasn’t a wide open space where the old state hospital was torn down?
    I know we can’t go back, but at least we can move forward with a PLAN. Evansville flits from idea to idea with no connection that I can see. Is there a master parks plan? If so, where is it? I will work to get the citizens of Evansville in a position to understand the facts and to have a voice. I have done that before. But it is getting old, very old. Let’s please elect people who work for the common good, not their own personal gain at the expense of us all.

  9. And how big is this building going to be? An intelligent person in city government described it as HUGE. Measurements please. Another person familiar with finance and business stated that the running and maintaining of such a facility is pretty expensive. Lastly, there are many places that such a commercial venture (indoor tennis courts) could be placed, but no. The tennis assoc. seems to want to be gifted the money to create this structure and also wants all of us, the public, to provide the land for them free of charge. That brings up the question of the public support of such an idea running in direct competition with an already existing private business. Sticky. Very sticky.

    • The association wants to put the courts in that location because they have spent millions of dollars already putting 8 brand new courts in, 2 large viewing decks, as well as a very nice clubhouse. Their plan has always been to expand on this facility. They are simply asking the bureau to match their funds..a million a piece I believe. The maintaing of this facility will continue to be in the hands of ECTA, and they have a very well thought out fiscal plan to do so. And, the already existing private business is just that—private— and very expensive. If left with only Tri-State the city of Evansville will only have 4 indoor tennis courts in a PRIVATE club setting. Adding 6 new courts and allowing them to be open to the public is a great opportunity for Evansville.

Comments are closed.