Protests end plan for tennis academy
Rafael Nadal had proposed facility at Patch Reef Park
An outcry from the public has ended talks to bring tennis superstar Rafael Nadal’s academy to a popular park in Boca Raton.
The Rafael Nadal Academy would have been the first outside of Nadal’s hometown in Manacor near Mallorca, Spain. The proposal drew attention, given Nadal’s celebrity status.
The drawings showed a rooftop-terraced building with at least 37 indoor courts, a gym, four restaurants and a pro shop.
But opening the training facility at Patch Reef Park didn’t sit well with the public.
“They want to keep our parks public,” said Briann Harms, assistant director for the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park
District. The proposal had suggested 60 percent of the academy would be for public use, and the rest would go to the Nadal operation.
District commissioners voted Monday not to proceed with discussions, Harms said. “It was a unanimous vote to sever any contact with the Nadal group,” Harms said.
No one from the Nadal group attended Monday’s meeting, Harms said. It’s not yet clear whether Nadal’s representatives would pitch opening the academy at an alternate location.
The Rafael Nadal Academy would have been the first outside of Nadal’s hometown in Manacor, Spain.