Tennis courts

Palais des Congrès tennis courts permanently closed

Viewers contacted CBS 8 because these courts have been closed for over a decade and people want to use them.

SAN DIEGO – You’d never know walking around the San Diego Convention Center that there are six rooftop tennis courts. Imagine the magnificent views if you play up there.

Viewers contacted CBS 8 because these courts have been closed for over a decade and people want to use them.

CBS 8’s Anna Laurel started calling the city, the convention center, the Port of San Diego and the Marriott. All of these entities have something to do with the convention center or the tennis courts or both.

The mayor’s office sent CBS 8 a January 2022 City of San Diego staff report stating:

“The tennis courts are in poor condition. And neither the city of San Diego, nor the port, nor the Marriott sees the point of fixing them.

The city council voted to approve the report’s amendment to remove the courts and repair the roof of the convention center.

The Port of San Diego built the Marriott Courts in 1989. It was part of a 1980s land deal that helped build the convention center.

The city report says that 12 years ago the fire marshal recommended closing them because there was no safe way for people to escape in the event of a fire or other emergency. So the Marriott closed them.

CBS 8 found a proposal the port says it submitted on behalf of the Marriott.

The 2018 proposal restores three of the tribunals and abolishes the other three.

The proposal states that the project would take 6 months and that the newly restored tennis courts would be open to Marriott customers and members of the public.

In 2015, there was a push to reopen the courts to the public. At the time, our current mayor, Todd Gloria, was a member of city council.

At the time, he told CBS 8, “Parks and recreational facilities are lacking in many San Diego neighborhoods, including downtown. The closing of the tennis courts is unfortunate…and I don’t support it.

But by 2020, Convention Center executives were talking about an $8 million roof replacement and redesign. A budget meeting report indicates discussions are underway for solar feasibility and removal of tennis courts.

In the report, it is stated that the courts were responsible for leaks in events resulting in costly repairs and maintenance.

The city council has approved the plan to remove the courts and replace the convention center roof.

CBS 8 asked the mayor’s office about Mayor Gloria’s position in 2015 and her decision to support the removal of tennis courts today.

In a statement, the city said:

“In 2015 Gloria, then a council member, expressed her support for the reopening of the tennis courts. Subsequently, it became clear that the roof of the Convention Center has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced or repaired, and to do this, the tennis courts must be removed. The city council has approved an agreement with the Port of San Diego that allows for the repair, and the project is underway.

Regarding the convention center roof renovation project, CBS 8 asked for more details on the cost and timeline.

Here is their response. Looks like we won’t see any work done until next year.

“We are about to complete the preliminary design and technical requirements phase. This includes evaluating the interrelated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems that make sense to address simultaneously. Each component is an important complement to re-roofing efforts. As a result, the schedule and costs can vary significantly depending on what constitutes the final parameters. We expect physical construction to take place in 2023.”

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