Midtown resident John Anderson told the council that the city isn’t up to the task. Anderson said he sometimes has to call up to 48 hours in advance to reserve a court.
“The city of Atlanta does not have the expertise to run tennis facilities,” Anderson said. “They don’t understand what tennis players expect.”
The path forward is unclear. The city could rebid the contract a third time. It also faces the possibility of a lawsuit, if Agape takes the issue to court and asks a judge to force the council to comply with the city’s contracting rules.
An Agape spokesman did not return a phone message Monday seeking comment.
With renewal provisions, the contract could be worth up to $25 million over nine years — an estimate that was made before the COVID-19 pandemic. The city would have received about 20 percent of the revenue.
Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit, who made the motion last month to deny Agape the contract, said two of the five centers are located in his district and he believes he acted in the best interests of the community.
“Thirteen other council members agreed with me,” Matzigkeit said. “The ball is now in the park’s department court.”
A spokesman for Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms deflected questions about whether its park’s department had the capacity to effectively manage the facilities.
“Based on the results of an exhaustive procurement process, a recommendation was provided to the Atlanta City Council, which did not accept the recommendation,” the spokesman said.