Letters to the Editor

Bally’s closure still stings for tennis community | Letters

It’s been almost six months since the Bally’s facility closed in Federal Way. When it did, the closure shut down an active and vibrant tennis community, causing former players to disperse to locations away from the city or give up the game altogether.

It’s hard to drive past the old location and see an empty parking lot without feeling a pang of nostalgia. I miss the friends with whom I spent many happy hours since the late 70s and, at my age, it was satisfying to know I could still play the game, if at a slower pace. It would be wonderful if a mythical Daddy Warbucks or his equivalent would show up and reclaim the Bally’s facility and its tennis courts but sadly, there is no evidence that will happen any time soon.

Tennis courts and the many activities they foster are essential components of a city such as Federal Way. People came from all around to play and compete at Bally’s. Bally’s hosted many tournaments. High school and community college players came there to practice. Countless times I saw our youngsters receive lessons by the professionals and watched them improve as they got older and became competitive. Now, just like the cars in the parking lot, all of that is gone. I wonder if we realize how much we’ve lost.

It is my hope that someone or group with the proper resources will sense opportunity and bring tennis back to Federal Way. Bally’s was not just a building, it was one of our more distinctive institutions and one we could point to with pride. A reinvigorated Bally’s would be a great asset in our community.

Don Payne, Federal Way

 

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