Tennis courts near Lake Merritt that had been taken over by a homeless encampment were reopened for tennis players Saturday now that the people experiencing homelessness have been successfully moved into supportive housing and the courts renovated, city officials said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a youth and adult tennis tournament and play time at the Athol Plaza tennis courts at 1750 Lakeshore Ave., according to the office of Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas.
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, Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development.
Since 2020, Bas' office worked with advocates, community partners, and the City of Oakland'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.