Wed, Jul 07, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Taipei has plan for international class tennis center

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would build a tennis center by 2014 that complies with international standards.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) said the city would use the center to seek more opportunities to host international competitions and cultivate young players.

The plan for the center, which will cost about NT$3.5 billion (US$100 million), shows it would occupy more than 6 hectares and include 17 outdoor courts and a main court with 10,000 seats.

The city’s announcement came one day after former Academia Sinica president and Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) complained about the lack of venues for top-class tennis tournaments in Taipei.

Lee has been a long-term sponsor of Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳), whose career was brought to the spotlight following his win over the world No. 7 Andy Roddick of the US during the fourth round of the Wimbledon men’s singles last week.

In a meeting with Lu on Monday, Lee Yuan-tseh said it was “embarrassing” that Taipei lacked a professional tennis center.

Lee Yong-ping denied her presentation at Taipei City Hall yesterday was in response to Lee Yuan-tseh’s criticism, saying the city was also planning to build world-class basketball courts.

“The city government listed NT$4.5 million last year for the planning of the tennis center. We are not rushing to build a tennis center because of what the former Academia Sinica president said,” she said.

Taipei City’s Sports Office Director Sun Chin-chuan (孫清泉) said the center’s facilities and courts would meet the standards for Level 3 and Level 4 international tournaments.

To host Level 3 international competition, a tennis center should be more than 6 hectares and should include at least 15 tennis courts.

A Level 4 center should occupy at least 4 hectares of land and have more than 12 tennis courts, the office said.

The Taipei City Government has selected three possible locations — Beitou (北投) District’s Guandu, Neihu (內湖) District and Zhongzheng (中正) District.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) will finalize the location after meeting with related departments.No timeframe has been given.

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