Sounds like the famous West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, former home of the U.S. Open, is up to its ears in debt – $2.85 million to be exact. And to pay off this debt, the club’s members are seriously considering selling the now little-used main stadium to a local developer.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the members still haven’t voted and no one at the West Side Tennis Club seems to want to speak about the matter.
A blog on Blogger titled Rego-Forest Preservation Council is attempting a letter writing campaign to get the stadium listed as a NY City landmark.
Having not been to the facility, this is a bit of a tough call for me. While I’m generally in favor of preserving landmarks, if in fact the stadium isn’t used anymore and isn’t maintained well, then I personally would find it difficult to pass up the money – especially if I owed $2.85 million. And I’m sure those to whom the money is owed would probably rather get paid than see an old, unused stadium sit on a prime piece of New York real estate.
Ideally, I guess I would like to see the stadium restored, then see events held there that bring in money and help to pay off the debt. It looks like it could serve as a nice place to watch a concert, and according to Rego-Forest big acts used to play there back in the day (The Beatles, Johnny Mathis, Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, etc). Maybe a bunch of current pop stars who love tennis could get together to hold some sort of benefit to save the stadium.
If I were a betting man though, I’d bet it will soon be sold and several very wealthy people will have the honor of saying they live in the stadium where Billy Jean King, Jimmy Connors, Althea Gibson, and many others won the U.S. Open.