Every year we have a bit of hind und her with squash facilities. Some clubs close and at the same time new clubs open. Squash, like all sports, is held in thrall by larger, often abstract forces that only a macroeconomist can understand, but the bricks-and-mortar reality can give an observer a whiplashing sensation.
With the pandemic, there have been some significant closures. New York has been hit hard. In Brooklyn, Cobble Hill closed after forty-seven years, termites, leaks and a sizable amount of history. Josh Easdon, who was the pro there for the last decade, made this wonderful farewell video:
More recently we’ve heard the news that another borough is losing a classic club: the Princeton Club of New York is closing. A stalwart of Manhattan squash since the Second World War, PCNY had a storied history of great pros including Charlie Costello, Eddie Stapleton, Rick Rescigno and more recently John Musto.
But the great cycle turns. Anchoring the game is the world’s best facility. This spring the Arlen Specter US Squash Center opens in Philadelphia. I got a sneak peak this week (two hours of peeking, in fact, as the seventy-thousand square-foot facility is just enormous) of the twenty courts, classrooms, offices and open spaces.
Also this spring across the country, Access Youth Academy is opening their open-air eight-court facility in southeast San Diego.
Last week Racquet Up Detroit broke ground on their new eight-court facility in northwest Detroit opening next winter. More is coming. A half dozen other urban squash programs around the country are close to building their own facilities.
And regular clubs are coming on line. The most intriguing might be Kinetic Indoor Racquet Club. It is located in Boynton Beach, near Del Ray on Florida’s east coast and just five minutes from Interstate 95. The brainchild of former U.S. Open champion Wael El Hindi, Kinetic is opening in April with a very appealing variety of courts under one roof: four squash, two pickle ball, one tennis and one padel, as well as fitness.
Squash, tennis, pickle and padel: it is a dream come true for any racquet sport aficionado.