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8-Month Rental for Practice Site : Lazers Get Redondo Tennis Courts

Times Staff Writer

Six run-down, unused tennis courts in Redondo Beach will be a temporary home for the Los Angeles Lazers indoor soccer team.

The City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday allowing the Lazers to remodel and rent the unused Aviation Park tennis courts for eight months, starting Oct. 31. The courts, which have been in disrepair for more than a year, will be rented for $1,100 a month. In addition, the Lazers will provide advertisement for the Redondo Beach Pier and King Harbor at the team’s home games at The Forum in Inglewood.

“If these courts are never used for tennis I have no objections to using them for this,” said Mayor Pro Tem John W. Chapman.

“No one uses them for anything else,” said Councilman Ronald Cawdrey.

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Head Coach Kieth Tozar said in an interview that the team chose the site because it is close to the Forum.

“Not only do we need a training facility but we need to get a few fans,” he said. “I’d like to get some people out there to watch and see what indoor soccer is all about.”

The daily practices will be open to the public and can be viewed from the grass surrounding the fenced playing surface.

The city has the option of renewing the rental agreement for another year through May, 1990, subject to mutual agreement by both parties.

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City Manager Tim Casey said the city cannot provide the courts on a permanent basis because the city is writing a general plan that probably will call for other uses for Aviation Park.

At a cost of about $40,000, the Lazers will install artificial grass over the asphalt surface and build a 4-foot fiberglass wall around the tennis courts. The Lazers will have exclusive use of the facility, a city official said.

When the rental agreement expires, the Lazers will remove the wall and artificial grass. Tozar said that if the team does not stay in Redondo Beach, he would like to find a permanent location elsewhere in the South Bay.

Indoor soccer is played much like outdoor soccer. Instead of 11 players, however, each team has six, and they are allowed to bounce the ball off the walls of the arena. The playing surface is smaller, 200 feet by 85 feet--the same as a hockey rink.

The Lazers were established in Los Angeles in 1982. Over the past year the team has practiced throughout the area, including facilities at Oxnard and San Diego.

Tozar said the team will begin practice at the Redondo Beach facility in the first week of November.


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