Edmonton is celebrating the opening of the Saville Tennis Centre, which includes six new year-round tennis courts. The courts, covered with an air-supported dome for winter, offer 1.54 million Edmontonians 595 additional court hours per week – a much-needed addition to the court availability in Edmonton.

“Russ Sluchinski and the team at the Saville Tennis Centre, with the support of Tennis Canada and Rogers, have built a best-in-class facility that will benefit every level of player – recreational, adult,  junior, varsity –  in addition to being a facility that can host and attract provincial, national and international tennis events,” said Alan Mackin, Executive Director of Tennis Alberta.

Funded jointly by Tennis Canada and Rogers, the $5.6 million Year-Round Community Tennis Courts Program will make year-round tennis a reality for thousands of Canadians and help foster increased participation amongst youth. The program aims to build 160 indoor courts at up to 30 facilities by 2029.

“This new facility, which provides increased access to tennis to the community, students, and varsity year-round, will help ensure tennis continues to thrive in Edmonton and at the University of Alberta,” said Andrew Sharman, University of Alberta Vice-President, Facilities and Operations. “Of course, this is made possible by continuous commitment to excellence of Tennis Canada, Rogers, and Edmonton philanthropist and long-time University of Alberta supporter Bruce Saville.”

The Saville Tennis Centre is home to the University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas tennis teams. The Pandas recently won the 2023 Canadian Women’s University Tennis Championships, their fourth consecutive university title. In addition to being home to the varsity teams, the Saville hosts junior and adult programming and offers court time to its members. The new facility will offer Edmonton residents a pay-to-play option, adding more affordable year-round court access to the city.

“With just one court for every 50,000 Canadians, Tennis Canada’s Year-Round Court Program supported by Rogers is a needed initiative to address the shortage of courts in a province like Alberta that continues to see significant growth in the sport as the demand for affordable, accessible court time grows. The Saville Tennis Centre is a first and important step in meeting Alberta’s need for tennis facilities,” said Mackin.

The Saville Community Sports Center is a valued, long-standing Tennis Alberta partner hosting the annual Alberta Open (one of the longest-running tennis tournaments in Canada), regular Adult and Junior sanctioned tournaments, and other provincial events. The 2023 Lexus of Edmonton 110th Alberta Open was the first event held on the new courts in August 2023.

The Saville Tennis Centre is one of two new facilities funded by Tennis Canada and Rogers that recently opened. The second project, the Francois Godbout Tennis Club Dome, includes four air-supported dome-covered courts in Waterloo, QC. With the addition of Waterloo and Edmonton, in only the second year of the Year-Round Community Tennis Courts Program, 26 tennis courts have been covered at five facilities in five municipalities spanning three provinces.

Photo: Edmonton Junior Tennis Society