Thanks to Canadian powerhouses like Leylah Fernandez, Bianca Andreescu and Félix Auger-Aliassime, tennis is more popular than ever, and Calgarians now have a new option to play (and watch) tennis through the winter months.
The Osten & Victor Alberta Tennis Centre (ATC) in Acadia has served as the city’s premier tennis facility since it opened in 2016, providing eight indoor and five outdoor courts. As of this fall, the outdoor courts have been converted to year-round playing areas with the installation of a 40-foot-tall insulated and fully lit bubble dome that will keep both players and spectators comfortable through any kind of weather.
Funding for the bubble covering came from several partners, including Tennis Canada, which is strategically helping to winterize courts across the country to make the sport more accessible and affordable for all Canadians. The ATC, which runs as a not-for-profit, guides about 1,200 adults and kids through its formalized programming every 12 weeks, and the expansion of its indoor program means even more Calgarians can develop a love for the sport.
“Tennis is one of the best sports you can play at any age — you can start at three and play until you’re 90,” says Danny Da Costa, ATC’s CEO. “There are a lot of studies on the health benefits of tennis that have found it’s one of the best cardiovascular sports you can play.”
The new coverings will make it easier for ATC to host events like the Calgary National Bank Challenger, a professional tournament held Nov. 5 to 13. For the first time, the event will include a women’s competition, which, like the men’s event, allows the ATC to host some of the world’s best up-and-coming players. With the newly winterized courts, Calgarians can root for the next crop of tennis phenoms, while maybe even producing a few of our own.