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ISSUE: Freeman Lake Tennis Complex
OUR VIEW: Beautiful facility in beautiful setting
Many local tennis supporters expressed regret and disappointment when new courts were dropped from plans for the Elizabethtown Sports Park.
But that decision now is viewed as a blessing in disguise. With the opening of the Freeman Lake Tennis Complex, 10 new courts provide access to the game with year-round accessibility.
The tennis courts, parking facilities plus a building with restrooms and storage sit just inside the original entrance to Freeman Lake Park behind Lakeshore Plaza shopping center. With an idyllic view of the gleaming water, the courts truly afford an exceptionally attractive venue to enjoy a match as promoters stressed at the recent dedication ceremony.
The tennis courts are accessible without entering the park gate, which allows the activity to continue under the lights after Freeman Lake Park closes at dusk. That access likely would not have been possible at the new sports park.
Having this $1.3 million facility on its own will allow its events to be scheduled without regard to other conflicts in the busy Sports Park tourism season.
Both of those factors are perfect for promoters of Elizabethtown’s growing position as the heartland of Kentucky’s tennis resurgence.
The State Farm Elizabethtown Open already is considered a premier event on the state U.S. Tennis Association schedule. The new facility will serve to further enhance that status and boost the community’s multi layer sports tourism business.
The 10 new courts join eight at University Drive Park and four at American Legion Park to place the community at the forefront of tennis opportunity. Much of the enthusiasm locally is built by the Elizabethtown Tennis Commission itself through a variety of classes for kids and adults.
At the heart of the Tennis Commission’s work and the Elizabethtown Open’s success has been Bo O’Brien. Known as a track, cross country and basketball coach during his teaching career, O’Brien’s energy has fueled much of this progress.
Elizabethtown city leaders acknowledged his many contributions by naming center court at the new complex after him. From now forward, when bleachers are placed alongside and championships are determined, Bo O’Brien Court will be the site of the action.
That’s an appropriate and fitting honor for an Elizabethtown native who’s contributions to tennis and tennis players have been unrelenting and selfless.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise's editorial board.