White City Tennis Centre
The historic White City Tennis Centre is the former home of tennis in NSW and had been since its opening in 1922. The venue has played host to many events including the Australian Open, Davis Cup, and the New South Wales Open. NSW Tennis has since moved to the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre. The site was purchased by Maccabi-Hakoah in 2011 and the main arena lays derelict with the grandstands full of weeds, rust and decay, meaning it's closed off for safety reasons and there are plans to redevelop it into a multi-sports facility.
Construction of the site began in 1922 from funds raised by the NSW Lawn Tennis Association. The local community has been actively involved in developing the facility throughout its history, for example in 1923 members of the association and debenture holders raised money to build a 3,500 seat grandstand.
The venue has grown since 1922 and today contains 28 tennis courts, 13 of which are all weather courts. The Centre Court Area is one of the few remaining natural grass courts in Australia that has the capacity to host major competitions.
White City retains the facility for hosting modern tennis competitions by incorporating new trends and innovations. Hard courts were included in the 1920's as the popularity of the game increased and in 1924 night lighting was installed on the five existing hard courts. The first Electric Scoreboard to be used in Australian tennis was purpose built for the 1952 NSW Championships.
With the use of temporary grandstands, the capacity of the centre court could be increased to as high as 25,000. As it was when the Davis Cup final was played at the venue, a capacity crowd attended, making it a record crowd for any outdoor Davis Cup match and tennis match played in Australia, the record still stands today (see above photo). The centre was home of the New South Wales Open (now known as the Sydney International) before it was moved to the Sydney International Tennis Centre at Homebush.