Groups of pickleball players are looking to secure more areas to play the sport as the sport grows in popularity.
Marine Park Pickleball Associates meet each morning to play a game, but struggle to find enough court space.
“It’s like a community. We’re all trying to help each other improve our game, and we’re having fun,” said club founder Mike Chaie.
Chaiet and Bob Spieler launched the organization, which now has 500 members, in 2019, but keeping the club alive wasn’t always easy. Chaiet said Marin said that many of his tennis courts at the park are unused, so it is not uncommon for members to sit on the sidelines due to lack of court space.
“There are 25 people here and they are all waiting here,” Chaiet added. “But look at the tennis court. There’s no one there.”
Last year, the club was granted permission to convert one of the park’s 15 tennis courts into four temporary courts.
“It would be nice to have a permanent net that you could come to whenever you wanted to play, but we don’t have one,” said player Aggie Smith.
In a statement, the NYC Parks Department said it aims to provide balanced access across all different sports and activities. There is also currently another project underway to rebuild the playground and sports courts of his PS 278 playground at Marine Park, plus he will add four pickleball courts to his.
Players say they will continue to call elected officials and the New York City Parks Department.