The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Tennis Center, located in Golden Gate Park, has been selected by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) to receive the 2023 Outstanding Facility Award. Of the 29 facilities to earn this year’s award, the Goldman Tennis Center received the top recognition as the sole recipient of the prestigious “Featured Facility of the Year”, and will be honored at next year’s USTA Annual Meeting and Conference.
Today, the USTA held an awards ceremony during the opening day of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, happening in New York City, to recognize the 2023 Outstanding Facility winners. San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg accepted the award on behalf of the Goldman Tennis Center. The U.S. Open is taking place from Aug. 28 through Sept. 10.
The tennis center at Golden Gate Park has served tennis enthusiasts of all skill levels since 1894, with tennis legends like Billie Jean King, Peanut Louie Harper, and Rosie Casals among others, having played on the courts. In 2021, the center re-opened after a $27 million renovation through a public-private partnership with leadership gifts from Taube Philanthropies, the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, the Koret Foundation, Jackie and Joby Pritzker, the Fisher Family and others. The renovation, designed by architectural firm EHDD (with HGA), transformed the center into a state-of-the-art public facility with 16 tennis courts, including a sunken stadium style court, lights for night play and five mini courts for pickleball and teaching young children, and a garden courtyard for socializing. Additionally, the Taube Family Clubhouse features a lounge, a recreation room, a class room for the Tennis and Learning Center, two locker rooms, a kitchen, and a vibrant outdoor ceramic tile mural by renowned artist Sanaz Mazinani. The renovation was made possible through a partnership with the Tennis Coalition of San Francisco and the San Francisco Parks Alliance.
“Our parks system is a treasured part of San Francisco, and the Goldman Tennis Center is one if our true jewels,” said Mayor London Breed. “This national recognition by the USTA shows what we can accomplish when the City, community, and philanthropy join together to support our parks. From iconic institutions like Golden Gate Park to the newest parks being created along our waterfront, we will continue to be a City that makes our outdoor space shine for everyone who lives in and visits San Francisco.”
The center provides a variety of programming year-round for both adults and children, including tennis and pickleball lessons, youth tennis camps, competition training, college team play, league match play and USTA and other tournament play. The center also is home to the Koret Tennis and Learning Center, an award-winning program for underserved youth that promotes academic achievement, health and wellness, and social-emotional development through tennis. Lifetime Activities manages the tennis center and provides professional teaching in addition to supporting tournaments, teams, and many community events.
Each year, the USTA recognizes facilities across the country for their ability to go above and beyond in serving tennis communities. For the award, the USTA considered criteria such as overall layout; the quality of court surfaces and lights; maintenance; aesthetics; accommodations for players, spectators, and press; graphics like signage and landscaping; amenities; and participation in USTA programs.
“It’s no secret that San Franciscans love the Goldman Tennis Center, but to be recognized on a national level is a whole other ballgame,” said SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “This site has served as the beacon for all tennis-related activities in San Francisco for over a century. Receiving this coveted prize highlights all the hard work put in by Rec and Park, Lifetime Activities, and the Tennis Coalition of San Francisco to ensure that it remains the city’s premier public tennis location.”
“Great tennis facilities like the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Tennis Center help us to grow the game at the grassroots level and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said USTA Chief Executive Community Tennis Craig Morris.
“Thousands of San Franciscans gather, play and visibly beam at the Goldman Tenner Center every week. The team at Lifetime Activities is proud to provide services and programs to an incredibly diverse population of players, ranging from all ages, abilities and interest levels,” Lifetime Activities CEO Dana Gill said. “This reimagined tennis treasure is truly one-of-a-kind and we are ever-thankful to have been entrusted to serve the wonderful tennis community of San Francisco.”
“It’s wonderful to have the National USTA recognized what has been achieved here – we have committed to stakeholders a working model that opens doors for everyone and a true community tennis center,” said Tennis Coalition of San Francisco Co-Chair Martha Ehrenfeld.
“Every time you step on the court at Goldman, or see new players, kids, families and teams hitting and competing, you can feel the strength and energy of the people who built this place – we hope everyone will come see for themselves!” said Tennis Coalition of San Francisco Co-Chair Lois Salisbury.