Indoor tennis’s future
Elmira College (EC) told me a few weeks ago that it had hired a consultant to identify changes made in the use of space at the Domes to reduce its operating deficit, a project being led by the new EC CFO. One of those options would be to replace the tennis dome with turf.
I immediately reached out to two former Corning Inc. Executives whom I had worked with in the past and are very supportive of tennis: Jim Flaws, former CFO, and Alan Eusden and the GETA Board in looking at every opportunity to increase revenues to EC.
On Monday, March 28, the GETA Board through Jim Flaws presented to EC’s CFO a proposal that gives the history of our partnership, the donations several GETA members made to improve the lighting, the increase in revenues in year 2 but then Covid hit, forcing the closing of the season, the loss of players anxious about Covid resulting in the drop in seasonal commitments the next 2 years. And the addition of two new programs: Mixers and Online Booking, that increased revenues.
EC is hoping to gain more revenues and thus the hiring of a consultant.
We want EC to continue to choose to partner with GETA for tennis. Our proposal increases revenue substantially through a combination of changes to some length of seasonal play contracts, increases in the court fees and increases in member fees. GETA expects many players will return to tennis next season as the fear of Covid has diminished. We will also fund raise and a number of GETA members have already committed to make “sponsor” donations in addition to their fees to help ensure indoor tennis remains in the area.
I will provide details on the changes in seasonal play contracts and all fees in a separate email that will be part of our fund-raising plan.
We know the area’s largest employers – Guthrie, Arnot Health and Corning Incorporated, rely on the broad quality of life to attract a diverse community of physicians and skilled engineers to move here. Tennis is one part of making the community attractive to adults for themselves and their children who play and take lessons indoors. We also asked the college to consider this community perspective in their evaluation.
AND, the college will NOT be making a change in the tennis in the 2022-2023 season, so we all have time to work together over the next months and show how we can save indoor tennis.
More to follow. John Renz GETA Board