What Can You Do With An Old Tennis Court?

Very few people have the luxury of owning their own tennis court. While keen tennis players would love to have one of their own in their garden, for others it can be something they don’t need, or even a problem to deal with.

If you have access to a court but it’s in a bad condition or you really don’t enjoy playing tennis, what options do you have? In this article let’s take a look at some creative ways you can use an old tennis court for something other than tennis.

You can convert an old tennis court into a garden, a dog park, a playground, a BBQ area, or you can use it for another sport. Keep reading to learn about all these ideas in more detail.

How long does the surface last on a tennis court?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question, as it really depends on how often people play on the tennis court and how well it’s maintained. However, on average it’s around every 4-8 years for a hard court.

Here are some tips on when you know it’s time to resurface a tennis court.

Can you convert a tennis court into a garden?

You certainly can, and you have a few options.

This couple in Texas decided to remove the entire tennis court surface and sub surface material and grow a whole new garden, with fruit trees, flowers, plants and walking areas.

This is obviously a very costly option, as it will be expensive to remove all the tennis court material.

For a cheaper approach, you could keep the existing tennis court surface and insert some raised beds for flowers and other plants. You could install a couple of greenhouses too and add some containers for other plants.

What else can you do with an old tennis court?

As private tennis courts are usually in someone’s backyard, using the space as a garden is usually one of the more common approaches. However, you might have access to an old tennis court in a communal area near some apartments, or in a park somewhere. Here are some other ideas which you might want to consider.

Dog Park

Dogs love big areas to run around in, and an old tennis court is a perfect place for a dog park. This is what Todd Agosto did in Chicago when he created Jackson Bark. He used old materials from construction sites to keep the cost down, creating around 100 pieces of equipment for dogs to use.

Transforming an old public tennis court into a dog park will be a welcome addition for the local community of dog owners. However, make sure you contact the local council before undertaking such a project to make sure everything is above board.

Furthermore, make sure to watch the doggie’s paws as running on concrete for a long period of time can damage them. The best option is to buy some booties to protect them.

Playground

Another option for an old public or communal tennis court is to turn it into a playground. You could embark on this project with a few other local residents as a way to keep kids entertained when they’re playing outside. Again, you will have to contact the necessary authorities to ensure you are allowed to do this.

BBQ area

If you have your own private tennis court which you no longer wish to use and you love alfresco dining, why not install a BBQ area. You could even install a bar too! What a great way to spend those summer evenings with friends and family.

Install a swimming pool

For a more costly option, you could always install a swimming pool. You’ll still have plenty of space leftover aswell if you want a Jacuzzi or sauna.

Use it for another sport or activity

If you’re not a tennis fan, but you like other sports, you do have some options with an old tennis court. You could quite easily install a basketball court, or use the area for rollerblading. If you lay down some artificial turf you can also make a small soccer or hockey pitch.

Build on it

If you want some more space in your property, you could always just build on it. You could build anything you like if you have the budget, from a summer house to something a lot bigger.

Rent it out

Like it or not, a tennis court is often a desirable asset when people buy a property, so why not just keep and let others play on it. You could consider renting out the tennis court for people to play on each week. They have some fun and exercise and you get a few dollars in your pocket.

Resurface it

Finally if you are lucky enough to have access to a tennis court, but it’s in a poor condition, why not just resurface it and use it for what God intended..

..to play tennis on!

That’s what I’d do 🙂

What games can you play on a tennis court?

A tennis court is not just for tennis. With a bit of imagination, you can use it for many other sports and games. If you decide to keep the tennis court, and providing it’s still in a reasonable condition for running on, here are a few ideas:

Tag

You can do tag, or ‘it’ in any sizable outside space, so why not play this game on a tennis court. It’s a fun activity for groups of kids. As an alternative, you can get creative and try only allowing everyone to run along the tennis lines.

Dodgeball

This is a perfect game to play on the tennis court. Get two teams to stand on either side of the net, give each team two balls and off you go! The object of the game is to hit players on the other team with the ball. If anyone gets hit, they’re out. If anyone catches a ball thrown at them, the thrower is out and you get to recall one of your team members.

Just play nice and don’t be too aggressive like in the film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004).

Tennis Soccer

Assign two teams with each group standing either side of the net. You can use any ball which bounces. Basically you hit the ball over the net into the opposing team’s side of the court, but it can only bounce once before someone makes contact with it. You can set maximum amount of touches allowed on each side (a bit like volleyball which has three). Oh, and you can’t use your hands.

Hit and Run

The idea of this game is to rally the ball like you normally would in tennis, but with a significant difference. You have 2 teams standing in a line perpendicular to each baseline. The person at the front hits the ball and then they run around the back of the line on the other side of the court. Then the second person hits it, then the third, and so on, until someone makes a mistake.

As an alternative you could make people run to the back of their line after running around the whole court to give everyone more of a workout.

When someone makes a mistake, they’re out. But the fun part is that as players drop out, everyone has to run quicker to get to the ball in time to hit their shot.

Catch

This is a fun activity for a group of young kids. Take a tennis racket and a ball, and hit the ball up in the air. Whoever catches it gets a point, buy if you drop it you lose a point. You could play first to 10.

Pickleball

Pickleball is a very fun game to play and the court size is only one quarter the size of a tennis court. It’s fun to play, and you need quick reactions.

How much does it cost to remove a tennis court?

Unfortunately, it’s not cheap to remove a tennis court. Not only do you have to hire someone to demolish all the material, you need to pay to dispose of it. It could cost up to $15,000 to remove everything, but call your local demolition company for an accurate quote.

You might want to consider keeping the tennis court anyway and just use the space to suit your needs. When it comes to selling your property, a prospective buyer might love the idea of having a tennis court in their backyard.

8 uses for old tennis courts

FAQs

Where is the oldest tennis court?

The oldest tennis court is at Falkland Palace and it was built in 1539. However, this court is very different to what we have today. This court was built for ‘real tennis’, a sport generally played by royalty with very different rules to modern day tennis.

Additional Resources

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Author: Dad Racket

Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a "little noise" about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.

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