Jan 22, 2024 - Sports

Presidio Wall to lose six pickleball courts

Pickleball players at Presidio Wall in 2022. Photo: Megan Rose Dickey/Axios

San Francisco's parks department plans to move forward with the removal of six pickleball courts at Presidio Wall Playground despite pushback from the pickleball community, a spokesperson told Axios.

Why it matters: Presidio Wall has become a pickleball hub over the last few years, but the court's proximity to homes coupled with the noise from the balls has irked nearby residents.

Driving the news: Earlier this month, the parks department requested a group of pickleball players and advocates remove unpermitted rolling nets from half of the dozen current courts and notified them of the plan to remove the dual lines from those courts.

  • At a San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission meeting Thursday, pickleball enthusiasts expressed their concern with the plan.
  • Then, on Friday, more than two dozen members of the pickleball community held a protest at the courts urging the parks department to conduct a community-driven process around how to find "a mutually acceptable solution," Peter Zepponi of Golden Gate Pickleball wrote on Facebook.

What they're saying: "It's almost as if we're being punished for using these courts too much," a pickleball player, who didn't give her name, said at Thursday's meeting. "We are being punished for using courts that you guys are supplying, and in my opinion, extensive use should be viewed as a positive result."

The other side: "We are a dense urban city," Recreation and Parks manager Phil Ginsburg said at Thursday's meeting. "Every single blade of grass, every square inch of sport court or hard surface is spoken for, so to accommodate the needs and desires of pickleball players all across the city" has been a challenge.

Context: In the summer of 2022, Recreation and Parks added dual lines to two tennis courts to create six additional pickleball courts at Presidio Wall to meet the demand for pickleball, according to the parks department.

  • Each tennis court can accommodate three pickleball courts.
  • The parks department maintains that those lines were always meant to be temporary.

Yes, but: The parks department added eight dedicated pickleball courts at Larsen Playground last month and plans to add dual lines to the tennis courts at Moscone Park Playground for pickleball play.

What to watch: Despite concerns from the pickleball community, the parks department is set on its plan to remove the dual lines, Daniel Montes, a department spokesperson told Axios.

  • But he said via email that they continue to look for future dedicated pickleball sites, saying that San Francisco pickleballers "can rest assured that more places to play are on the way!"

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