USTA NorCal "Facility Use Fee"?

Papa Mango

Semi-Pro
I've captained several leagues and I'm now ready to boycott USTA altogether. I've never read so much bull from the letter of board of the directors.

Any alternatives to USTA Norcal for leagues?
Unfortunately there isn't any. They have a captive audience here and therefore are audacious enough to do whatever they please.

It reads like a load of crap.
Coz it is? If you have to write a 2000 word missive to justify doubling of charges there is something wrong with it. But atleast they made an effort :confused:

The fee being levied by Norcal central is a money grab. They provide no plan or transparency about how this gets transferred to the "member organizations". It seems likely to be a slush fund for Norcal to support whatever priorities their board decides to get behind.
Retirement fund for the directors? Coz it is expensive in NorCal.
 

sweetrugger

New User
As far as I can tell, this money would only go to private institutions. Public courts - no money. Public courts run by private facility - no money. Public school courts - not sure, but I'm guessing no money. This money goes to courts that already have an income stream for supporting them - the damn club that owns them.
 

gooberwho

Rookie
Agreed with the above thoughts--it's total gaslighting and a very long email full of garbage and spin talking points. There is zero transparency as to how the funds will be distributed and used.

Is there a way we can appeal this to National or at least make them aware of what's happening and how the membership is unhappy with the fee essentially being rammed down our throats? I am also likely to boycott NorCal leagues after this.
 

brokenRPM

Rookie
the question is who is going to monitor where the 1.4 million go? there is no mentionings of the controls necessary to make sure the funds are spent on USTA (a non-profit) vs clubs (for-profits).

if the court fees goes to for-profits clubs, shouldn't the court fees be taxed? How do we make sure that is audited? I am sure lots of city council members in Oakland, San Francisco, Alameda, and etc. would love to ask those questions.

Let's put it this way. The board members are XXX who like to change rules on people and take people's rights away. Period.
 
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The statement from the Board shared above can be summarized like this: (1) The Board ignores the voice of the over 3,600 players who have already signed the petition (and signatures are still coming in every day!). (2) The fee will be implemented on April 13. (3) The ball was in the Board's court to provide a rationale and factual data that would support the need for this fee. They did not provide any rationale except that those nine Board members who voted for this fee think that they can do whatever they want because (and this is from the statement) there are no alternatives to Leagues and players don't have a choice but to continue to play. Dear Board, you are wrong. We do have a choice and we are making this choice loud and clear: #BoycottLeagues until this fee is revoked! Please continue to share this blog and the petition with your network.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
I was talking with my sister who plays down in NorCal about this today. She normally plays on about a dozen teams around the Bay, but she said she is likely done with USTA League for the rest of the year in protest. I commended her as I am also sitting out of USTA League for the year to boycott the awful changes that they did to the 40 and over league. Stupid should not be rewarded. If the product isn't worth the cost, don't pay. There are plenty of tournaments, ladders, and club events to play instead.
 

jviss

New User
Reading that ridiculous email (sent at 9pm on a Friday night) brought one thought to my mind. They know they are wrong, and are clearly are going against the wishes of the vast majority of adult league players, but do not care because they will benefit. They have to know this will exclude lower income players but do not seem to care at all. Every misconception they listed is complete garbage.

Is the whole board responsible for approving this condescending email that offers very little direct truth? Who thought this was an acceptable response?

Looks like very few of these board members actually play in NorCal adult leagues but the ones that do need to get an ear-full in person too.
Board president Kevin Pope is the director, co-captain and player out of this private club Ruby Hill. I want to know what percentage will Kevin Pope’s private club receive and how much does he personally benefit from this? Obviously not addressed in the email.

Think about the audacity of this guy and this equally despicable email.
 

badmice2

Semi-Pro
So I was in PTR training this weekend (Norcal) and spoke with the regional lead pro who so happens to be on a few USTA Norcal committees (not sure if he is on the board). One thing he mention, which i found interesting was that Norcal is losing funding for various programs, such as junior development programs, which used to be subsidized by National. One point he made was that many of these programs were head count driven and National funding was based on participation volume. However, it sound like National is revisiting it's funding approach and have yanked a substantial portion of the funding (maybe other regions as well?), especially around it's junior programs. The core tenet of the argument is the lack of progression tracking made by regions, and subsequently, there isn't enough objective and measurable result that proves the money being pump is favoring National goal - produce competitive tennis players for the USTA.

I'm not sure how much of National funding plays in their decision (if any), but my hunch is Norcal is doing whatever it can to milk the cow to offset the lost.

But to put things in perspective, my son is playing local AAU basketball. Club fee, which includes tournament registration fee, court fee, and coach fee, nets out to be ~ $1000 for 3 months. I think an added $75 for a league season (reg+court+club fee, granted is community clubs to offset public court reservations) might not be so bad in comparison, and if it helps Norcal fund things like junior and other outreach programs, I'm all for it. I do agree that we need to see transparency in how the money is being use and the benefit it yields.
 

30fifteen

New User
Is the whole board responsible for approving this condescending email that offers very little direct truth? Who thought this was an acceptable response?
According to the Dec 11 meeting minutes, the vote was 9-7 so not every board member approved this. The email was probably written by the current board president. I'd like to see a write-up of the dissenting voters of the board, but they have been quiet.
 

eyedropper

New User
"Misconception #3- Individual clubs cannot implement their own surcharge.

This is incorrect and several mega-corporate clubs have, and some others charge guests fees. Our goal here is to level the playing field with the hope that this $25 per player, per team fee becomes the norm as opposed to an organization charging $10, $20 or more dollars every time you play a match at their facility. While we can't control what each club does, we would hope you would find it more agreeable to pay $25 extra per season as opposed to that amount 6 to 8 times per season."

Can we call a spade a spade and realize this third point is fear-mongering? If clubs started charging guest fees TO opposing players....Seriously? If one club did it that would be Really bad form for that club let alone 6-8 in one local division....

Who wrote this letter??? marketing@norcal.usta.com you should be ashamed, and if you're not please tell us your name and contact info so we can have a more open discussion.
 

eyedropper

New User
"While not discussed publicly every day, we are losing the support of our member organizations. Public facilities are becoming extremely expensive (it is not unheard of for public courts to charge $30-$40 per hour with a minimum number of hours guaranteed.)"

If USTA was really losing the support of member organizations, those same member organizations could drop their membership and create their own programming. No club that I know of has ever done this, so define "losing the support of"
 

brokenRPM

Rookie
there is no accountability for the new fees.
if they can write a BS letter like that, you can be sure that 1.4 million can go to a few people's pockets without oversight.
 
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scmyers

New User
there is no accountability for the new fees.
if they can write a BS letter like that, you can be sure that 1.4 million can go to a few people's pockets without oversight.
junior development?? give me a break. if you want to develop juniors, move to Florida or Spain. PLEASE don't waste your time in Norcal.
In the "Misconception #3..." text it says right there they can't control what each club does and how much they charge. So there are saying NorCal is going to charge this extra $25, give it to these clubs, and "hope" that the club does something with the extra money? The poor poor club might still have to charge away players to play on their precious courts. What a crock.
 

30fifteen

New User
Wow, with coronavirus and $25 fee hike, I wouldn't be surprised if participation in USTA league will go down considerably. Could be devastating.
 
#SaveNorCalLeagues obtained a copy of the official tax proposal. The abuse of power is much worse than anyone could have imagined. Here are some of the most egregious excerpts from the proposal:
  • It openly calls it a "revenue program" for clubs
  • It excludes virtually all public facilities from receiving funds
  • It makes it nearly impossible for our schools to participate and receive funds
  • It shows the Board's president-elect for the 2021/22 term, the new Executive Directors of NorCal and the two ALC members who were appointed by the president were all presenters of the proposal
  • It states that "facilities have donated their facilities to the players" over the past 30 years.
The list is too long to post here so you'll have to read the proposal yourself for some of the other outrageous comments in the rationale.
 

sweetrugger

New User
Anyone up for creating a NorCal Flex league? We could do it by partner, team, etc. My only suggestion is we name it something like "Players Opposed to USTA Facility Fee Tax" and we automatically cc every board member on every email from the new league.
 

30fifteen

New User
#SaveNorCalLeagues obtained a copy of the official tax proposal. The abuse of power is much worse than anyone could have imagined. Here are some of the most egregious excerpts from the proposal:
  • It openly calls it a "revenue program" for clubs
  • It excludes virtually all public facilities from receiving funds
  • It makes it nearly impossible for our schools to participate and receive funds
  • It shows the Board's president-elect for the 2021/22 term, the new Executive Directors of NorCal and the two ALC members who were appointed by the president were all presenters of the proposal
  • It states that "facilities have donated their facilities to the players" over the past 30 years.
The list is too long to post here so you'll have to read the proposal yourself for some of the other outrageous comments in the rationale.
Great find. If private clubs are really hurting because of USTA league, couldn't they just restrict/ban USTA league from their own clubs? Why must USTA subsidize private clubs?

I suppose it's obvious. Board members are using USTA to fund their own pockets.
 
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