Photos courtesy of Edna Geller
Visitors to the tour of the Broadway Tennis Center gather in front of the facility located on Edwards Court in Burlingame.
Only three weeks away from the grand opening, the finishing touches are being put on the Broadway Tennis Center, and tennis lovers are rallying enthusiasm for the sport.
Local officials attended a hard hat walking tour of the 62,715-square-foot facility Tuesday, March 10, in advance of its opening service to the community April 1.
No court has been laid down in the large warehouse space, near Highway 101 on Edwards Court in Burlingame, but workers hope the center will soon be filled with the sound of screeching sneakers and smashing serves, spanning from the early morning until late at night.
Members of the community will be able to play on the six full-sized indoor courts any time between 6 a.m. until midnight, with no membership fee.
Founder Horacio Matta said he and his wife aimed to start a company that would offer residents elite tennis facilities, without the pretentiousness that some might associate with tennis culture.
“We didn’t just want to build a tennis center, we wanted to build a community,” said Matta, a retired tennis professional who played on the Association of Tennis Professional tour for five years.
Matta, who founded the facility with his wife Anne, said the tennis center will serve anyone interested in playing, from novice to expert, in hopes of building local passion for the sport.
Cornell Wilder, who will be one of the coaches at the center, said he looks forward to working with students from local schools.
“The goal is to have people come out and play and make it as accessible as possible,” he said. “We want everyone to feel welcomed.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Alex Johnston, who will also be one of the coaches.
‘It’s unbelievable, we’re offering something else that no one else can,” he said. “There will always be a place to play here.”
Johnston expressed enthusiasm for the indoor facility, and that weather would not be able to deter people from playing.
“I’m definitely excited about coaching on this beautiful court,” he said. “This is going to be a great place to learn.”
Johnston said the courts will feature a moderately fast pace, which is an easier surface for novices to learn the sport.
Interested parties can already sign up to participate in summer camps, by visiting the tennis center website. There will also be senior groups, afternoon skills clinics, corporate leagues, open courts, private lessons and classes for kids between 2 and 5 years old, among other services.
Newcomers will also have the opportunity to borrow equipment from the facility, rather than be expected to bring their own gear, or having to invest in expensive rackets.
“Our main goal is that we don’t want to tell people no,” said Todd Edwards, coach.
He said watching the center rise on the 3 acres of land has been electrifying, and is thrilled about the opportunity to start playing on the courts.
“I can’t wait. I’m eager to get out there and coach,” he said.
Matta said despite the size and scope of the project, the tennis center is the first sports business venture that the couple has endeavored together.
“It’s more than overwhelming,” he said. “We are really out of our league. We are just tennis players.”
Anne Matta played on the Women’s Tennis Association tour for three years, prior to retiring.
Horacio Matta noted that tennis can be a lifetime love affair for people who play it, and similar to golf, many continue playing for years after being forced to give up more taxing physical activities.
Matta said he appreciated the role that tennis played in molding his life, and family, and hoped to be able to share that joy with Burlingame and the surrounding community.
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