The history of Sudbury’s ‘Igloo’

by Community Submission | March 1, 2013
Sudbury Indoor Tennis Club

Sudbury Indoor Tennis Club. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Initial discussions about providing indoor tennis to Sudbury’s tennis enthusiasts started in 1990. Several options for the location of the centre were discussed, including the Idylwylde Golf Club, Lily Creek and even Laurentian University.

These plans did not materialize. However, with the support of the City of Greater Sudbury, and a group of very dedicated tennis players, a four-court “air supported structure” was developed on a corner of Queen’s Athletic Field in the fall of 1992.

The inaugural match on the courts was played on Jan. 1, 1993. Local tennis icons, including Joanne and Ron Pettit, Frank Bell and the late Jim Richardson were part of those opening day celebrations.

This is still the current home of the Sudbury Indoor Tennis Club, but the structure is a bit different.

Due to some quality control issues with the original structure, a replacement was required just seven years after the first structure was erected. A used structure was located in Chicago and five members of the club drove from Sudbury one weekend to conduct an assessment of the replacement. Following a few “alterations,” the current structure was re-raised in the Nickel City in 2000.

The “Igloo” or the “Bubble” as it is commonly known, boasts a current membership of 186. The Sudbury Indoor Tennis Club runs year-round but is busiest during the winter months.

Future plans for the Bubble include procurement of a permanent structure at the current site — one that will have increased accessibility for tennis players with disabilities and offer many eco-friendly enhancements.

For more information, phone 705-688-1414 or visit sudburytennis.com.

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