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Tennis courts near Lake Merritt that had been taken over by a homeless encampment have reopened for tennis players once more now that the people experiencing homelessness have been successfully moved into supportive housing and the courts renovated, Oakland officials said.
City Council members and others officially welcomed back the Athol Plaza tennis courts at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, followed by a youth and adult tennis tournament.
City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas appeared at the event along with Dr. August Varlack of Friends of Athol Tennis Courts and Laney Tennis and Marc Weinstein, director of tennis for Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development.
Since 2020, Bas’ office worked with advocates, community partners, and the city’s Human Services Department to transition the people experiencing homelessness previously living at Athol Tennis Courts into shelter options. These included Lake Merritt Lodge, which serves seniors and individuals with medical conditions and disabilities.
The tennis courts renovation project included new court surfacing and hardware.