Our Story

When Twin Cities businessman Fred Wells signed up for tennis lessons at the age of 65, he realized a tennis court could provide powerful lessons like sportsmanship, perseverance and hard work. Fred conceived a powerful vision: offer tennis and life skills development opportunities to inspire youth from under-resourced communities to be successful on and off the court.

The Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center, affectionately known as The Fort, opened in 2002, and since then, we have been intentionally breaking down barriers to participation; as a public tennis facility, we offer some of most affordable courts and junior and adult tennis programs in the Twin Cities. We also offer TennisWorks, our youth development continuum serving grades 3-12 through school and community partnerships. TennisWorks uses the game to capture a child’s interest and weaves in opportunities to assist youth in developing critical life skills such as goal setting, communication, self-control, time management and teamwork. At the heart of our program is our deep commitment to providing a safe, supportive environment with caring adults who reinforce our “Fort Five”—Safety, Respect, Commitment, Integrity and Kindness.

On the 10th anniversary of The Fort's founding, we were rewarded for Wells’ visionary thinking and our hard work with several prestigious awards: 2011 USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year, USTA Member Organization of the Year and PTR Facility of the Year. In 2013, Tennis magazine honored our groundbreaking programs by featuring us in its “Heroes” issue.

Now is a particularly exciting time at The Fort because this year we are embarking on a capital campaign to make our facility an even better place to play. Our plans call for new air-supported structures, an additional tennis court, expanded parking and more. Please visit our capital campaign page for details and to make a contribution. This is a pivotal moment as we build on The Fort's 15 year history as a place for everyone to play—from experienced senior players to junior players and TennisWorks participants just discovering the lifelong game of tennis.

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Our Accolades

  • 2003 USTA Outstanding Facility Award
  • 2011 USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapter of the Year
  • 2011 USTA Member Organization of the Year
  • 2011 PTR Facility of the Year
  • Featured in 2013 Tennis magazine “Heroes” Issue
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Our Facility

Services

The Fort offers court rental, event space, and racquet stringing!

For court rentals, please call 612-252-8367, ext. 0
For events & facility rentals, contact Reid Olsen at reid@fwtec.org
For stringing contact Dan Swanson at dan@fwtec.org

Patron Fees

  • Junior: $55/year
  • Senior (55+): $55/year
  • Senior Couple: $85/year
  • Individual: $90/year
  • Family: $99/year
  • Guest Fee: $5/visit

Rates

  • Court Rates: $28/hour
  • Ball Machine Rental: $5
  • Hopper of Balls: $5
  • Adult Drill 1.5 hours: $24
  • Adult Drill 1 hour: $16
  • USTA Matches (Patron): $12
  • USTA Matches (Non-Patron): $15

 

Rental Policies

The Fort accepts cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

Patrons may reserve courts up to 7 days in advance starting at 6am.

Non-patrons may reserve courts the day of play.  Payment is required at the time the reservation is made.

24-hour notice is required in the event of a cancellation or full court/drill fee will apply.

Reservations are first come, first served.

The Fort is available for group rentals of up to 125 guests.  For more information call Reid Olsen at 612-252-8367, ext. 111

Policies

GENERAL POLICIES

 

  • All players and patrons must check-in with the front desk.
  • Tobacco use and Alcohol are prohibited in the tennis center. FWTEC is a drug-free zone.
  • Food & beverages (except water) are not allowed on the courts.
  • No glass on the tennis courts.
  • Only tennis shoes (non-marking shoes) are allowed on the courts.
  • Shirts must be worn at all times.
  • Spectator seating on end-court bleachers and lobby area only.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Private tennis instruction can ONLY be taught by FWTEC certified Tennis Professional.

ETIQUETTE POLICIES

FWTEC expects all staff, players and volunteers to demonstrate good sportsmanship and respect for one another at all times. 

  • FWTEC does not tolerate foul, abusive or derogatory language, racquet throwing, or ball abuse. Exhibiting any of these poor behaviors will be asked to leave the court by management.
  • Please arrive on time and wait in the lobby until your scheduled court time. Before your court time is up, gather gear and leave promptly so as not to interfere with the next scheduled users of the court.
  • Do not walk onto your court until the designated time. To get to your court, please use the designated walkway. Do not walk across courts.
  • Locker room is available to all patrons. Please remove all your personal belongings after using it. Do not leave any valuables in the locker room. FWTEC is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Workout room is to be used while waiting for a participant in a class or 1 hour before or after a court reservation.

Understand the Rules of Tennis:   

      https://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Rules/

Our Board

 Rick Rinkoff Board President Chair, Capital Campaign  Director of Research, Craig-Hallum Capital Group

Rick Rinkoff
Board President
Chair, Capital Campaign

Director of Research, Craig-Hallum Capital Group

 Santosh Krishnan Treasurer Chair, Finance committee  Retired, Edgilent

Santosh Krishnan
Treasurer
Chair, Finance committee

Retired, Edgilent

 Thomas Judd Secretary  Attorney, Morrison Sund

Thomas Judd
Secretary

Attorney, Morrison Sund

 Melissa Dalum  Realtor, Bold Marketing   

Melissa Dalum

Realtor, Bold Marketing

 

 Visala Goswitz Chair, Development Committee  Patent Agent, Biochemist, Westman, Champlin and Koehler

Visala Goswitz
Chair, Development Committee

Patent Agent, Biochemist, Westman, Champlin and Koehler

 Sue Gregor Chair, Education Committee  Retired, Educator

Sue Gregor
Chair, Education Committee

Retired, Educator

 John Ahern Chair, Building & Facilities Committee  Vice-President, TKDA

John Ahern
Chair, Building & Facilities Committee

Vice-President, TKDA

 Michelle Mingo Chair, Capital Campaign  Vice President, Mingo Holdings LLC

Michelle Mingo
Chair, Capital Campaign

Vice President, Mingo Holdings LLC

 Keith Radtke  Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels

Keith Radtke

Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels

 James C. Vaughan  Agent, Minneapolis-St. Paul Agency

James C. Vaughan

Agent, Minneapolis-St. Paul Agency

Our Team

 Esther Tsai Executive Director esther@fwtec.org

Esther Tsai
Executive Director
esther@fwtec.org

 Christine Nickels Assistant Executive Director Director of Education & Partnerships christine@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR-10 & under Professional

Christine Nickels
Assistant Executive Director
Director of Education & Partnerships
christine@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR-10 & under Professional

 Robin Coverdale Director of Tennis robin@fwtec.org  Certifications: USPTA - P1

Robin Coverdale
Director of Tennis
robin@fwtec.org

Certifications: USPTA - P1

 Reid Olsen Director of Operations reid@fwtec.org

Reid Olsen
Director of Operations
reid@fwtec.org

 Clay Sollenberger Director of Junior Tennis clay@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

Clay Sollenberger
Director of Junior Tennis
clay@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 Kaitlin King Development Manager kaitlin@fwtec.org

Kaitlin King
Development Manager
kaitlin@fwtec.org

 Richard Buckles Accounting Manager richard@fwtec.org

Richard Buckles
Accounting Manager
richard@fwtec.org

 Dan Swanson Stringing Manager dan@fwtec.org

Dan Swanson
Stringing Manager
dan@fwtec.org

 Brad Ferg Front Desk Associate brad@fwtec.org

Brad Ferg
Front Desk Associate
brad@fwtec.org

 Brian Grossman Front Desk Associate brian@fwtec.org

Brian Grossman
Front Desk Associate
brian@fwtec.org

 Zekeria Nigatu Front Desk Associate zekeria@fwtec.org

Zekeria Nigatu
Front Desk Associate
zekeria@fwtec.org

 Jackson Buchanan Facilities Associate jackson@fwtec.org

Jackson Buchanan
Facilities Associate
jackson@fwtec.org

 Judy Long TennisWorks Stars Coordinator Tennis Instructor judy@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

Judy Long
TennisWorks Stars Coordinator
Tennis Instructor
judy@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 David Yanagita Tennis Instructor TennisWorks Coach david.yanagita@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

David Yanagita
Tennis Instructor
TennisWorks Coach
david.yanagita@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 David Stingley Tennis Instructor TennisWorks Coach daivd.stingley@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR 11 to 17 - Professional

David Stingley
Tennis Instructor
TennisWorks Coach
daivd.stingley@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR 11 to 17 - Professional

 Nguyen Vo Junior Player Development Coordinator TennisWorks Coach nguyen@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR & High Performance Coaching

Nguyen Vo
Junior Player Development Coordinator
TennisWorks Coach
nguyen@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR & High Performance Coaching

 Craig Gordon Tennis Instructor craig@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR & High Performance Coaching

Craig Gordon
Tennis Instructor
craig@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR & High Performance Coaching

 Mike Lunka Tennis Instructor michael@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

Mike Lunka
Tennis Instructor
michael@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 Aaron Holland Tennis Instructor aaron@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

Aaron Holland
Tennis Instructor
aaron@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 Luke Elifson Tennis Instructor TennisWorks Coach luke@fwtec.org  Certifications:

Luke Elifson
Tennis Instructor
TennisWorks Coach
luke@fwtec.org

Certifications:

 Christian Maki Tennis Instructor christian@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR-10 & Under Certified

Christian Maki
Tennis Instructor
christian@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR-10 & Under Certified

 Ricky Moua Education Assistant & Tennis Instructor Ricky@fwtec.org  Certifications: PTR

Ricky Moua
Education Assistant & Tennis Instructor
Ricky@fwtec.org

Certifications: PTR

 Viet Pham High Performance Tennis Instructor viet@fwtec.org  Certifications:

Viet Pham
High Performance Tennis Instructor
viet@fwtec.org

Certifications: