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East side Chandler Park tennis courts ready for action

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

New tennis courts at Chandler Park were named Monday in honor of the late Ralph C. Wilson Jr. and his wife, Mary, who made an appearance at the park on Detroit’s east side.

The courts are the first component of the Chandler Park Conservancy’s $20 million vision to convert the 200-acre park into a campus for education, conservation and recreation.

The courts are being built with funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. There will be four 36-foot courts and four 78-foot courts once construction is completed.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan attended the event, playing a round of tennis in his suit with a 14-year-old student.

Mary Wilson, who played at Wimbledon in 1976, said the United States Tennis Association and PAL, a Detroit nonprofit that works with children, will do the programming for aspiring players.

“You can build a court, but it’s the programming that’s important,” Wilson said.

A new artificial turf field supporting football, lacrosse and soccer is also being built at the park, which is nearly 100 years old. The park’s historic comfort station, long abandoned, is now receiving a facelift from the City of Detroit.