Apr 4, 2024 - Sports

You can play pickleball at Cleveland Public Auditorium

An exterior photo of Cleveland Public Auditorium

This building slaps. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

A storied local venue that hosted Republican National Conventions in 1924 and 1936 is tapping into the zeitgeist.

State of play: It's pickleball, baby. From 5-8pm every Tuesday, the main hall of Cleveland Public Auditorium will transform into public courts.

Between the lines: Courts will eventually cost $20 per hour per person, according to the city's promotions, but until that's approved by City Council, they're free of charge.

💭 Sam's thought bubble: I played a lot of tennis in my youth, but I'd never tried pickleball. I agreed enthusiastically when my old pal and editor Vince, from Scene Magazine, extended an invite.

  • $20 per hour seems a tad steep to me, but I'd happily pay a $10 cover charge in an open-gym format. The surroundings really are one-of-a-kind.

Vibe check: Multigenerational, multiracial, and a mix of pickleball novices and seniors with high-end gear and absolutely filthy ground strokes.

  • The courts were bumping by 6pm. Strangers joined forces to strike up friendly doubles matches.

What's next: Public Hall will host the table tennis competition in the Pan-American Masters Games this summer.

Vertical photo on a mauve background of an indoor pickleball court in an old public auditorium
Beautiful venue for pickleball. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

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