Red clay courts

Red clay courts are used in various sports such as bocce, baseball, and soccer, but mainly they are made for playing tennis.

It is one of the best grounds to play on because of its “slow” surface.
It means that the ball is greatly slowed down after bouncing consequently facilitating the exchange from the back of the court. Specialists in this discipline, in fact, have excellent exchange skills and a lot of physical strength.

Red clay, after grass, is the turf that needs the most maintenance, but it is also the most widespread tennis surface in continental Europe and South America.
This is precisely why the most famous clay specialists come from these regions.


Clay courts have one of the playing surfaces that is considered less traumatic for the legs and musculoskeletal system due to the “controlled glide” that increases braking time.

This is one reason why it is a popular playing surface and used in some of the world’s most popular tournaments.

Among the international tournaments that use clay courts as a playing surface are:

Red clay courts have made many tennis specialists famous.
Starting in the 1980s, with Austria’s Thomas Muster and Spaniards Carlos Moyá and Sergi Bruguera, winner of two Roland Garros.

Until today, with Rafael Nadal, considered the strongest in history on this surface, nicknamed precisely “The King of Clay.” Winner of thirteen Roland Garros, eleven Monte Carlo Masters, ten Internazionali d’Italia, four Madrid Open.
On the WTA women’s circuit, the best clay specialist is Belgium’s Justine Henin.


You’ll only need to do a quick Google search to find that the price of making a clay tennis court ranges from 10,000 euros to 50,000 euros. Excluding contingencies.

Turning to a specialized firm to build the court, rather than doing it yourself, means having an accurate and real cost estimate, often with materials supplied already included. Most importantly, it means savings in labor and energy.

Making a clay tennis court takes about 2 weeks and several points should be considered:

  • The ground. It must be suitable, but above all having it or having to buy it greatly affects the investment;
  • The context. Tennis courts usually are placed within a sports club, costs will vary depending on what you want to achieve;
  • The materials. The soil, the drainage grind, the underlayment, the turf;
  • The accessories. Everything needed to make a tennis court serviceable such as rows, bushings or nails, support poles for the net, the net;
  • The lighting system. Some cost savings could be made by adopting LED or electromagnetic induction lighting;
  • pressostatic structure, fixed or mobile. Reasoning needs to be done based on the region in which the court is built; it may be needed to allow players to use the court even in the harshest season;
  • Aeration system. In case you decide on a pressostatic structure;
  • The tools of the trade. Ad hoc machinery such as the roller, the milling machine in addition to classic tools such as the straightedge;
  • How many courts you want to make. Making more than one playing court at the same time for the same amount of work and materials saves and optimizes resources.

With respect to the permits required to build a tennis court, only the SCIA, or certified start of activity report, is needed.
In case you want to build accessory facilities, such as locker rooms, you need to apply for a building permit.


As with any business, sports centers must have one mantra when it comes to expenses: the cost-benefit ratio must be positive.

The costs involved in maintaining a clay tennis court are many, three of which:

  • Materials. May have variable costs depending on supplier and quantities needed;
  • Utilities. Courts must be wetted daily increasing the cost of water, in addition to electricity costs associated with lighting and maintaining a pressostatic structure where present;
  • Regular and annual maintenance. Much influenced by environmental conditions such as sun, shade, thunderstorms, ice that can create or solve problems;
  • Manpower. If you turn to a specialized company for annual maintenance of the courts certainly the price is higher.
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  • Materials disposal. Excess materials after court maintenance should be treated as special waste.
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In general, a properly maintained clay tennis court can last a long time, with low maintenance expenses, but that may not be enough for sports centers to make a profit.

In a crisis some of the solutions to reduce costs could be:

  • Joining a buying group to get more deals on electricity, especially now that bills will see a 40 percent increase. Find out more;
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  • Redeveloping the red clay court into synthetic turf, requires less maintenance and therefore less cost in terms of materials, labor and tools;
  • Diversifying the offering not only lowers maintenance costs (see point 2) but is a good way to increase players.



    Do you want to build one or more clay tennis courts? Do you need someone to take care of the annual maintenance and resurfacing of your clay tennis courts?.
    Do you want to find out more about buying groups to save on utilities or repurpose your Sports Center’s lighting system? We’ll take care of it, you just contact us!