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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah to begin construction on $2.5 million outdoor tennis courts

The U. announced to the Board of Regents on Friday its plans to build six tennis courts with covered bleacher seating and restrooms, at a cost of nearly $2.5 million.

The courts will be built on Guardsman Way, west of the Eccles Tennis Center and where the school’s practice football field used to be.

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The outdoor court will resemble the U.’s indoor arrangement, with two banks of three courts and the ability for spectators to watch action on all six courts from elevated seating in the center. The capacity, renderings and donor information were not immediately available Friday.

New men’s head coach Roeland Brateanu, who was promoted earlier this month after the retirement of longtime coach F.D. Robbins, said he expects the center to have a "huge" impact on recruiting.

"This is going to be the single-biggest thing for our program and the women’s program in decades," he said.

Construction bidding will begin soon and the department expects to break ground this summer, with the hope that the U.’s men’s and women’s teams will be able to play on the courts next spring.

Money for the project will come from the Athletic Department. It was approved by the U.’s Board of Trustees in April.

Also Friday: The U. received permission to extend the lease on two of its three Red Zone merchandise and apparel stores so that they will all close at the same time in 2017.

— Matthew Piper


Twitter: @matthew_piper

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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