The Troy Racquet Club offers eight tennis courts.

The Troy Racquet Club offers eight tennis courts.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Troy Racquet Club to keep current management

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 8, 2018

 Rebecca Barry, from Oakland Township, participates in a tennis clinic at the Troy Racquet Club May 3 with tennis pro Kris Jeffrey, right.

Rebecca Barry, from Oakland Township, participates in a tennis clinic at the Troy Racquet Club May 3 with tennis pro Kris Jeffrey, right.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 The city of Troy has had a lease agreement with the Troy Racquet Club since 1977 to operate the tennis bubble at 3400 Civic Center Drive.

The city of Troy has had a lease agreement with the Troy Racquet Club since 1977 to operate the tennis bubble at 3400 Civic Center Drive.

Photo by Deb Jacques

TROY — The current management team at the Troy Racquet Club will continue to run the club after the Troy City Council unanimously awarded them the contract last month. 

The council awarded the contract to Troy Racquet Club LLC April 23, despite the fact that the selection committee — comprising Troy Recreation Director Elaine Bo, Assistant Recreation Director Brian Goul, Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep and acting City Manager Mark Miller — had recommended that the council award the bid to All Court Tennis, the other bidder, based on scoring criteria, references and site visits. 

The All Court Tennis proposal included the installation of two new tennis domes, a new website and other upgrades, plus  $79,200 in yearly revenue to the city. 

The Troy Racquet Club proposal included court resurfacing and $52,000 in yearly revenue.

At the April 23 meeting, 23 people spoke regarding the contract, 18 of them in support of All Court Tennis. 

The council had unanimously postponed the matter at its April 9 meeting after nine people spoke, six of them in support of Troy Racquet Club LLC, which is made up of Don Pierce Jr., Tom and Michele Shoan, and staff. 

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many emails,” said Councilman Dave Henderson. 

The city of Troy has had a lease agreement with Pierce since 1977 to operate the tennis bubble at 3400 Civic Center Drive. Since 2011, Troy Racquet Club LLC has partnered with the Parks and Recreation Department to offer a youth summer program. The city put the contract out to bid in January. 

“The Troy Racquet Club created a real club, a real family … a safe place for children, for families,” resident Jeff Hudson told the council April 23.

“It’s unusual for a company awarded the RFP (request for proposals) not to be awarded,” resident Roger Jankowski said at the April 23 meeting. “Judge based on business merit, not sentimental reasons.” 

Brian DeVirgilio, of All Court Tennis, told the council April 23 that Troy had not put the management of the tennis bubble out to bid in 40 years. He said the lighting in the dome is inadequate and that the dome leaks. He said a facility that All Court Tennis manages, Wessen Indoor Tennis Club in Pontiac, is the nicest tennis club in southeast Michigan. 

“Don’t consider our club dilapidated,” Pierce Jr. said to the council April 23. 

“We’re aware we need to make improvements to the club,” Tom Shoan said to the council April 23. He said they plan to update software and resurface courts. 

Henderson said that $27,000 in additional revenue a year isn’t worth it “compared to honoring a long-standing relationship.”

“We are presented with two good options,” said Councilman Ethan Baker. 

Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek said the RFP process is a rubric that provides guidance. 

“Our role is to represent the people who elected us,” and she received many emails expressing a “desire for the club to be what it is. A 40-year track record tells me a lot,” she said. 

Councilman Ed Pennington estimated that the council received between 200 and 300 emails on the contract. 

“I appreciate your passion supporting the Troy Racquet Club,” he said. 

“We’re trying to be a fun place for everybody,” Pierce Jr. told the Troy Times. 

The Troy Racquet Club offers eight tennis courts, which are covered in the colder months. People need not be a member to take lessons or join United States Tennis Association teams based there. Members may reserve court times. There are currently over 700 members, including youth members. In the junior program, there were 400 players last year. The facility includes vending machines with food and drinks on-site.