On Thursday night, we had the pleasure of interviewing Manny Fabian and his Tennis Pro Assistant, Brad Mixon, to talk about what’s going on at the Tennis Center.  Recently, there’s been some hubbub about accessibility and available playing time at the Tennis Center.  So we reached out to Manny to give us a tour of the facility and let us know what’s going on.

First, let’s talk a little history.  As Manny explained in the video, the City of Miami Springs used to spend north of $125,000 per year in staffing costs to run the Tennis Center.  In 2008, during the Financial Crisis, the City contracted with Match Point Tennis to take over the Tennis Facility and increase the amount of programs available at the center.  The cost to the taxpayers was just $20,000 per year.  That was a savings of over $100,000 per year to residents.

Tennis Courts

Since 2008, the usage and demand for the facility has grown significantly.  Meanwhile, in 2015, the subsidy to Match Point was lowered to just $15,000 per year.

Three Ways to Play

The Tennis Facility offers three ways to play:  Tennis, Raquetball, and now Pickleball.  Pickleball was a bit of a challenge.  There are just 5 Tennis Courts at the facility.  So adding Pickleball meant reducing the number of tennis courts available.  And there in lies the biggest issue.  There’s a limited supply of courts and a growing demand to play.

How does the Tennis Center Serve the Community?

  • Tennis
  • Raquetball
  • Pickleball
  • Equipment Rental and Repairs
  • Lessons
  • Kids Camp and Academy
  • Practice facility for local school teams:
    • Miami Springs Senior High Golden Hawks Tennis
    • AIE High School Aviators Tennis
    • AIE Middle School Aviators Tennis


  • Monday – Friday:  8am – 3pm – Free Play
  • Monday – Friday: 3pm – 9pm
  • Saturday – Sunday:  8am – 8pm

Letter to the Editor from Manny Fabian:

In the November issue (of the “River Cities Gazette”) there was an article covering the meeting held by Match Point Tennis, the company that runs the Tennis Center. Though we very much appreciate the Gazette helping get the word out in the October issue and the coverage of one of the meetings, we need to correct some of the information noted in the article.

The meeting was held by Match Point, not the city. The purpose of the meeting was to give a history of how pickleball came to be, address the current multi-use of the tennis facility, and solicit solutions to have the pickleball and tennis communities coexist for the time being. We also wanted to address a lot of misinformation circulating in petitions, social media, and at council meetings. BTW, the city has already acknowledged the need for a dedicated pickleball facility and plans to budget for it in the future. 

Two years ago a resident approached the city to pitch adding pickleball to it’s park and recreation system. We met with city officials and that resident and explained that our facility could not support removal of tennis courts for pickleball and that there would be conflicts between both sports. In conversations with tennis colleagues throughout Dade and Broward it became apparent that this wasn’t just a Miami Springs problem. Many other tennis centers were experiencing the same demand and limited space issues. We advised the city of the potential  conflicts it would bring with sharing an already crowded youth after school tennis program and the tennis-playing community. But after much investigating and meeting with folks from USA Pickleball, we pitched the idea of dedicating space for pickleball in Miami Springs, just not at the tennis center. Due to budgetary constraints, the city said it would not happen immediately, so several months later we agreed to pilot pickleball by placing temporary courts at the tennis center. Though we knew problems would arise, we were committed to try and make it work. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. The “pilot program” proved what we already knew…pickleball was not a fad and there’s a growing fan base. At this point, there were lots of residents playing pickleball…we couldn’t just remove the temporary courts even though this was just a “pilot program”, so we looked for ways to make it work. I must say that for the most part, both racquet sport communities have made an effort to coexist and as a result many folks are enjoying healthy and challenging outdoor activities. There is a loud minority on each side that wants the other out and the youth programming to go as well. The kids enjoying the after school tennis program have as much right to play as the adults enjoying tennis and pickleball…as enrollment in the academy is over 95% Miami Springs residents. When the city contracted Match Point back in 2008, they wanted to see the courts full of folks enjoying tennis and a thriving youth program. We’d like to think we have accomplished that.

As the space issues worsened, we opted to dedicating specific nights to each sport. Note that the problems are after 6 pm on weekdays. The youth after school program and bulk of adult private instruction also operates after 4 pm. We usually have a waiting list of residents wanting to enroll their children in the program as well as folks vying for private lesson slots. Our goal is to minimize the impact of this programming on everyday players. The tennis academy has trimmed down the number of kids it will take to minimize court usage. We’ve also decreased the number of private lessons during primetime. Tennis players have not taken a back seat. Even before pickleball came to our tennis center, there were times folks couldn’t just walk up and get a court during evening hours, though for the most part they usually did. Now because of the increased usage of the facility, folks may have to wait for a court…like most thriving tennis facilities. Note that Miami Springs Senior High and AIE tennis teams also use our courts as their home.

We understand others have suggested that maybe finding sponsors to help fund a pickleball facility was an option. We just repeated that suggestion. We never suggested raising membership or court fees to generate revenues for a new pickleball facility. For starters, the small income coming from these revenues would take over 50 yrs to amass the needed funding for a new facility. The current increase of court fees was the first in at least the last 40 years.

We take pride in keeping our commitment to the city in having kept our tennis instruction fees below other similar tennis programs in South Florida. We will continue to do our best in making the facility all-inclusive through this challenging transition.

Manny Fabian

Match Point Tennis

Contact the Facility:

Phone: 305.803.5432
Email:  mpMiamiSprings@gmail.com
Address:  401 Westward Drive, Miami Springs (Behind the Library)

Options to Address the Demand

With the increased demand for both Pickleball and Tennis, the solution to the overcrowding seems obvious, albeit not affordable:  Build more courts.  What’s not obvious is where to build the courts and how to fund it?

Add Pickleball Courts at Stafford Park – This option will open up tennis courts currently being used for Pickleball and provide extra courts for Pickleball.  The negatives here are that you separate the Tennis Center from the Pickleball facility.  They really should be combined for the benefit of both sports.  There’s no synergy between the two if they’re not located adjacent to each other.  The other negatives about Stafford Park is that Stafford tends to flood a few times a year.

New Tennis Center / Pickleball Center at the Country Club – This option is by far the most expensive option.  However, this would keep Pickleball and Tennis together.  Furthermore, this creates a symbiotic relationship between the Tennis facilities and the golf facilities. We have thousands of people who play at the golf course each year that have no clue that we have tennis facilities.  By adding the Tennis and Pickleball facilities at the Golf Course we get to expose golfers to Tennis, Pickleball, and Raquetball and vice versa.  In other words, this will increase demand for all the sports at one location.  Plus, this would increase the draw to the Country Club, the Pro-Shop, and the restaurants.  There’s existing infrastructure for parking, bathrooms, and dining.

The other added bonus is that the existing Tennis Facility could then be repurposed for outdoor basketball, volleyball, or other outdoor sports.

Why do we need outdoor basketball?  For most of my life, there was never a shortage of outdoor basketball.  We could go to Miami Springs Senior High or Springview Elementary and play on their courts.  Unfortunately, as our society has become more litigious and school security has tightened up dramatically, we can no longer use the school playgrounds for outdoor basketball.  Thus the demand has increased for municipalities to provide such facilities that used to be readily available in the past.

What do you think?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below or via social media.


  1. Without a doubt, we need to make a long-term investment in the quality of life in our beautiful city and build tennis and p-ball courts at our country club.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here