Protests end plan for ten­nis academy

Rafael Nadal had pro­posed fa­cil­ity at Patch Reef Park

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Marci Shatz­man Staff writer

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.

AL­BERTO SAIZ/AP

The Rafael Nadal Academy would have been the first out­side of Nadal’s home­town in Mana­cor, Spain.

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