A big tennis advanced at Université Laval

The managers of Université Laval wish to welcome the first users of the future tennis complex in 2025 or, at the latest, in 2026.

Presented in the March 2021 budget of the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, the assistance of 20 million from the Government of Quebec, through an envelope from the Secretariat of the Capitale-Nationale, for the construction of a tennis stadium, including eight indoor and many other outdoor fields was confirmed again today in the PEPS.

The other 20 million to complete the project, which will cost twice as much, will come from Laval University.

“We hope to open our doors in 2025 or, at the latest, in 2026,” said the director of the Sports Activities Service (SAS) at Laval University, Julie Dionne. Shall we do a two-level opening? This remains to be determined. The financial package is not complete, but we are betting on a self-financing model. Philanthropy and infrastructure nomenclature are considered ways. Today’s announcement keeps the project alive and puts pressure on us to deliver the goods. »

“Our facilities are aging and always crowded,” added Dionne. We wanted to ensure a lasting structure. If we wanted a dome, it would have been done a long time ago. »

The exact location has yet to be determined and some options are on the table. Technical restrictions encourage
the University to evaluate some options.

Democratize sport

The PEPS tennis center will have two parts. On the one hand, it will host national and international tournaments and, on the other hand, it will receive regional customers.

“Quebec will be able to host tournaments of the type that we see in Granby and Gatineau and will be an extremely important place for the development of tennis, underlined Minister Girard. Quebecers who play in the NCAA return home in the summer to participate in Tennis Canada events. Rouge et Or players can also train there. »

“It is also very important to democratize sport, to give continuity to the Minister of Finance. In that sense, the National Center of Montreal welcomes the elite, but is also accessible to citizens every day. We are looking for the same thing in Quebec. »

Planned a long time ago

A tennis fan himself, the finance minister mentioned that the project for a tennis stadium in Quebec has been in the cards for a long time.

“Six weeks after taking power [le 1er octobre 2018], our government was approached, said the one whose family took in the young people who attended the National Center in Montreal. Since our first economic update, the government contribution was anticipated. We realized that there was a lack of infrastructure for tennis in Quebec and we decided to move on. We had the desire to democratize the sport. »

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Public Affairs and Minister responsible for Capital
National Geneviève Guilbault abounded in the same direction.

“Demand was stronger than supply and we wanted the sport to be affordable,” she said. The costs are higher in a private club and the prices will be more attractive. Summer camps and various activities can be offered at PEPS. »

The dean of Laval University, Sophie D’Amours, was beaming.

“It’s a great gift for Université Laval, the region and young people,” she said. We want the center to be accessible. We hope to introduce the Center as soon as possible. I want to thank the instigators of the project, Louis Têtu and Louise Couture, who introduced us to the idea. »

While it’s clear that PEPS wants to host WTA or ATP tournaments in the future and Challenger 125-type events, Dionne assures that the new complex will not compete with the Montreal National Center.

“The best prospects will continue to go to Montreal,” she said. We are leading the project in close collaboration with Tennis Canada, especially on the technical aspects. »

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