Cost of Tennis Court installation: A complete guide for facility managers

cost of tennis court installation

If you are in a hurry…

The planning, construction and maintenance of outdoor tennis courts pose logistical and financial challenges for many clubs and municipalities. Anyone wishing to build a tennis court should gather information ahead of time from contractors, vendors and other sports facilities in your area to estimate the costs associated with tennis court construction. The experience of a neighboring club or a conversation with an experienced tennis court construction company can help here. The cost of tennis court installation with an elastic layer typically costs $34,000 – $52,000 for a single court. Textile coverings with a latex fabric backing or a polymer elastic fleece backing are less expensive, and are used in tennis facilities across Germany. Removing and disposing of the old floor, if necessary, adds to the cost. 

Tennis court operators should determine their requirements before deciding on a floor surface. Will it be used outdoors or indoors? Will it be covered in the winter? How sustainable should the tennis court be in order to keep renovation costs low over the long term? 

The tennis court cost calculator can be used to reliably and accurately determine the budgets for the various types of surfaces.

Table of Contents

What to consider when planning to install a tennis court?

The floor is the one feature everybody notices at an indoor tennis center. When choosing the appropriate tennis flooring surface, club managers are spoiled by a variety of choices for the design, material and color. 

Many factors go into the decision of what floor to install: Who are the main users  and what are their expectations for the floor’s look and performance? What features do other nearby tennis complexes have, and to what extent does this influence the decision? And, of course : How much does each option and combination of features cost, both up front and in the annual operating and maintenance costs?

Many indoor tennis center managers face the decision of which tennis floor their courts should have for the next several years. These projects share a few common questions: 

  • What is the cost of a new surface for an indoor or outdoor tennis court?
  • What is the club’s budget for renovations?
  • Which court surfaces do the club’s members or the main users of the courts prefer?
  • How high-maintenance and cost-intensive is each surface, and how often will they need to be renovated?
tennis court construction cost

Costs incurred in tennis court installation

The cost of tennis court installation or renovation vary depending on the surface of the tennis court and the corresponding  floor. For example, there are different hard court variants, artificial turf or sand  to choose from. Facility operators should know what specifications the court must meet,  and how much time and money is available for maintenance over the projected life of the court.

In most cases, if the club decides on a clay court, the installation of an automatic sprinkler system should be included in the planning. Clay courts require constant irrigation, so the cost of construction, maintenance and the water itself should be accounted for at an early stage.

All courts will need lines and a net, and even these seemingly “background” elements vary in cost and materials. 

The baseline may be up to 4 inches wide, while all other lines are usually a minimum of 2 inches in width. Depending on the surface, the lines are either applied directly to the surface or, in the case of clay courts, made of  PVC. The tennis net has a height of 36 inches in the center and 42 inches at the posts. The cost differs based on the mesh of the net. They are mostly made of braided polyethylene, which provides stability.

Tennis court construction cost items Purchase price / costs
Construction, including labor and site equipment
$22,200 - $44,800
Court surface
$16,200 - $48,600
Tennis net set
$1,200 - $2,600
Perimeter ball fence
$4,000 - $7,200
Sprinkler system
$2,800 - $6,200

Renovating an indoor tennis complex can cover everything from the floor surface to converting the facility’s lighting to LED. Facility managers need to keep the entire scope of the project in mind when they determine their budget for each component, even a component as crucial as the floor. 

Floor surfaces for indoor tennis courts vary in price just as they do in material and color. Tennis center floors start at about 22 euros per m², and can cost up to 42 euros per m². The extent to which the current floor can be repurposed, the number of previous layers that need to be removed, the quality of the subfloor construction and the selection of filler (e.g. rubber granulate) are all among the factors that go into an accurate price calculation. Logistically, project managers have to determine whether the center or the adjacent courts be shut down during the renovation work, or will the construction crew have to allot for the passage and presence of players?

tennis court maintenance

Watering and regular court maintenance

Regular court maintenance is a basic responsibility of a tennis center or sports complex, and should be performed by a specialist as much as possible. Clay courts, in particular, need to be watered and leveled regularly to remain in a playable condition. This is largely due to weather conditions on outdoor courts, but the sport itself puts wear-and-tear on outdoor and indoor clay courts. Tennis players abruptly stop their approaches, slide across the surface to make a shot and then quickly change direction. Each part of that movement compresses, indents and otherwise deforms the surface. The resulting unevenness must be smoothed out for player safety and consistent ball movement. So-called drag nets even out the clay over the entire court, while lattice mats combat moss growth. System mats or combination mats remove leaves and branches. Even the lines on clay courts require upkeep: they should be cleaned with a broom so they stay visible to the players and not subjected to additional pressure from clay that accumulates on top of them

Construction and design factors: Planning a new tennis court

The first thing to ensure at the outset of the planning process is that you have enough space available for building the tennis court. 

The dimensions of a standard tennis court are 78 ft x 27 ft. In addition, courts need a run-out zone of at least 18 feet behind the baselines and outside of the doubles lanes. If several courts will be next to each other,  they need to have at least 12 feet between them, per international standards. The standards also set a limit of no more than four courts next to each other in a single row, to minimize the disturbances and distractions that the courts impose on each other. These specifications allow the tennis facility to host competitive games under standard conditions.

Facility designers should take care to build tennis courts in an appropriate setting whenever possible. Courts should either provide shade or be positioned in a way that players are not blinded by direct sunlight in their field of view. Ideally, courts are built on a north-south axis. If this is not possible, facility managers should be aware that courts on an east-west axis are optimally playable only in the morning.

The plant life around the court  should also be considered. Surrounding a tennis court by tall trees and shrubs will minimize the distraction of sunlight or glare, will  weaken the wind and lessen the ambient noise. Additionally, a fence around the court will protect against trespassers and will protect other players and passers-by from stray balls. The fence must have a minimum thickness to meet these safety, security and comfort parameters. 

All aspects of the tennis court design and construction should be included in the planning at as early a stage as possible to minimize budget overruns and project delays.

tennis court dimensions

Size of a regulation tennis court

Regulation tennis courts, including the doubles lanes, are 78 ft x 27 ft. However, those are not the dimensions you have to plan for: courts need playable space behind the baselines and outside the sidelines. The standard dimensions court builders plan for, then, are 120 ft x 60 ft x: an area of just about 2,200 sf. 

While the size of the court and surrounding area is mostly fixed, there is a much greater variety of options for the surface. 

Tennis’ governing body recognizes carpet, sand, grass and hard courts. Each of these surfaces has numerous subclasses. That expands the possibilities to find exactly what you need. The downside is it broadens the search for materials when building or renovating a tennis court. Plastic, asphalt, different types of grass or a blend of various granules are just a few of the top-level decisions, which is why an individual consultation with experienced court builders and experts is strongly recommended at this point.

Types of tennis court surface

Tennis can be played on almost any surface. However, most court owners and operators select from a small set of options. Multi-purpose indoor sports floors and all-weather outdoor surfaces are not very suitable, for example, because they often lack the typical rough surface preferred by tennis players. 

Most suppliers rely on robust court surfaces that guarantee a long service life and are, in most cases, easy to maintain. 

U.S. tennis courts most commonly feature a hard surface with an acrylic layer. In Europe, the clay court – also known as a sand or ash court – recognizable by the classic red color of brick dust, is the undisputed top choice. Internationally, most tournaments are held on clay. However, clay courts require professional maintenance and a great deal of effort, so clay is not always the best solution. 

Most recreational tennis players play on hard courts. Concrete courts are the most common at public facilities or municipal multi-sport facilities. For indoor tennis courts, the main surfaces are hard courts or carpeting. Velour-covered carpets are increasingly used for the court surfaces because they are less costly to renovate and maintain. 

Grass is spreading in some places for both indoor and outdoor tennis courts. On the other hand, synthetic boards are enjoying a steady rise in popularity for all-weather courts or as a mobile solution.

types of tennis court surface

Hard Court Surfaces | Acrylic

Hard courts are the most common tennis courts in the USA and have been installed across the USA. Hard courts are built on a concrete or asphalt base and, in most cases, consist of a 100% acrylic color coating. Tennis courts with an acrylic surface are low maintenance and usually require little upkeep. They can also be used as multifunction surfaces. Acrylic dries quickly and is suitable for both outdoor and indoor courts.

Clay Tennis Court Surfaces

Clay courts are often called “soft courts.”  They allow for slower play and, therefore, long rallies. They are popular in Europe, and can be found in the eastern and southeastern US.

The surface of clay tennis courts consists of either gravel and some kind of binder, or a mixture of mud and sand. They are laid on a compacted stone base and a subgrade. 

Clay courts are quite high maintenance. They must be swept off after each game and usually watered several times a day. Among their advantages  are that they dry very quickly and facilitate slower pace of play. Overall, the high maintenance and upkeep costs tend to dissuade facility managers from building clay courts.

Grass Tennis Court Surfaces | Natural grass and Artificial Turf

Natural grass tennis courts are rarely built because of the high maintenance requirements and the wear and tear they experience during the playing season. 

A tennis court made of artificial grass is usually filled with sand, which raises the blades of artificial grass and thus provides a suitable playing surface. 

Both types of turf allow for a very fast game with low ball bounce. Due to the high maintenance requirements, hardly any natural grass courts are built. Depending on players and tournaments that will use a tennis center, an artificial turf system may make sense. If that’s the case, facility managers should thoroughly explore and understand the pros, cons and cost of artificial turf; and be able to clearly state why they want this surface instead of a hard or clay court.

Modular Tennis Court Surfaces | Interlocking Plastic Tiles

Modular tennis court surfaces are usually made of interlocking plastic tiles, and are a subset of hard courts. Many manufacturers and installers offer a range of options for modular court systems. 

Like a standard hard court, modular courts are built on a concrete or asphalt layer. The tiles are then placed over the base.  Also like hard courts, the color scheme of a modular court can be freely designed. 

These surfaces are very expensive, and are best suited for temporary, single-event uses: for example, a tournament or clinic that requires extra court space or is being held in a non-tennis stadium or arena. 

For permanent use, acrylic hard courts are a much better alternative, given their price and ease of maintenance.

Calculate tennis court construction costs at an early stage

When choosing a tennis court surface, price should not be the only factor in your decision. The most important things to consider are who will be using your court, and for what style and level of play. A recreational facility bears significantly lighter demands for its tennis courts than, for example, a court that will be used for national or international tournaments. 

Once you have an understanding of your players and usage needs, the cost of the tennis floor surface for an indoor tennis hall or outdoor tennis court can be calculated using the Tennis Floor Cost Calculator or the Tennis Court Construction Cost Calculator.