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.
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For stringing contact Dan Swanson at email@example.com
- Junior: $55/year
- Senior (55+): $55/year
- Senior Couple: $85/year
- Individual: $90/year
- Family: $99/year
- Guest Fee: $5/visit
- 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
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
- 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.
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.