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Thumbs Down on Big Troy Park Tennis Complex

The project would lose money, according to the Maryland Stadium Authority.

 

The Maryland Stadium Authority, which has been studying the in Elkridge, released a statement Friday that it does not recommend moving forward with the park as it was envisioned.

The Howard County Tennis Patrons (HCTP) proposed the idea in 2004 of building a complex off Troy Hill Drive in Elkridge with 30 tennis courts, an 8,000-seat stadium and community center.

Since 2004, HCTP has raised money for the Troy Park Tennis & Sports Center project and attracted the interest of the Women's Tennis Association; but it needs public assistance in bringing the park to fruition, and so it reached out to the county.

County Executive Ken Ulman commissioned the Maryland Stadium Authority "to help HCTP and others determine whether the tennis complex is financially viable," said Kevin Enright, spokesman for Ulman, when .

"A favorable study should assist HCTP in lining up private financing," said Enright.

However, the Maryland Stadium Authority said in a report released April 13 that investors may hesitate.

"While there is market demand...it is not sufficient to offset the costs of on-going operations and debt service," according to the economic feasability study, which reported that Troy Park would cost $40 million to create.

"From a cash flow perspective, the proposed new tennis complex is estimated to realize an annual operating loss ranging from $162,000 to $209,000 before any capital reserve or taxes, debt service and depreciation in a stabilized year of operation," said the report's executive summary.

The scale of the Troy Park vision may be part of the problem in getting financial support, according to the study.

There are "relatively few top-tier events which require a facility of this magnitude," said the report.

"The county may want to consider pursuing a more moderate program that includes a smaller, first-class outdoor competitive court with relative limited spectator seating that could accommodate tournament activity as well as other uses," it said.

County Executive Ulman said in a press release that the study offered critical information in determining whether to put public funds toward the project.

“It allows us to make realistic choices about the tennis park features, the kind of partnerships we need, and the steps we need to take to as we move forward," said Ulman in the release.

His office did not immediately respond as to whether the county would proceed with the Troy Park project.

Kate Leiner April 14, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I agree with the council. This idea sounds good but would lose money. People would start out using it alot and when the novelty wore off the attendance would drop. I like the idea of keeping the space open - Howard County doesn't have enough of that!
Sandy Baker April 18, 2012 at 01:54 PM
BOE should have made better plans - do not punish R&P for looking into the future besides - do you want school buses going through a industrial park and I am sure Troy Hill Business Park does not want kids running through it
Frank in Elkridge April 18, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The study did say that there is a shortage of tennis courts in Howard County. Tennis players are a dedicated group of people, and they tend to be relatively higher income. The Elkridge Youth Organization's summer tennis classes are always filled to capacity and occupy the courts at Rockburn Park for much of the summer. The EYO would be a grateful and dedicated user of tennis courts at the Troy Hill Park. A regional park with a tennis complex would be perfect for Elkridge.
jclg April 19, 2012 at 01:37 PM
A High School would be perfect for Elkridge.
T M July 26, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Here is an idea. How about a YMCA of Elkridge with a small tennis complex and a Olympic size pool for a swim club. Would be great for all ages and incomes.

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