This was supposed to be the sixth year for the Riviera Country Club to host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s summer circuit tournament, but the closure of the 405 Freeway forced the country club to find another venue for the popular annual event scheduled for July 16-18.
“The minute I heard about the closure the first week in June, I called the ITA and they said it would be fine, but the more I thought about it the more I thought we shouldn’t have it here,” said Pam Austin, director of tennis for the country club. “I kept seeing all the signs on the freeway every day and it just started panicking me and I thought, 'We just have to move it.'”
Austin contacted Azusa Pacific University and asked if the event could be moved to its campus, which is about 35 miles east of the 405 Freeway and should have much less traffic congestion this weekend, she said.
“People said, 'Oh, they’re college kids, they won’t mind.' But I got calls from parents saying that there’s no way they could get here for the tournament,” Austin said.
The country club will miss out on the money it would have made hosting the tournament, but Austin is more disappointed about missing the tournament itself.
“It’s not a huge money-maker, but I just hated giving up the tournament because it’s just a great event. We’ve had it here for the last five years,” she said.
The players seem to like having it in Pacific Palisades as well, she said.
“The kids like it here. They go down to the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and the temperature is nicer over here,” Austin said. “But it’s nice for Azusa to host it since it’s a college event and they’re a college campus.”
The summer camps scheduled for this weekend at the country club will not be affected by the closure, she said.
“Most of the kids who attend are local, so that shouldn’t be a problem,” she said.