Washington DC

DC Mayor's Pickleball Dreams Have $750K Price Tag

The new proposal would convert four tennis courts into dedicated pickleball courts

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As pickleball’s popularity continues to grow, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has proposed to build four new pickleball sites in the District.

The $750,000 plan would convert underused or broken-down tennis courts into pickleball courts.

There are 10 full-time pickleball courts in the city and hundreds of tennis courts. About 50 of the tennis courts can be used at certain times for pickleball, but the sharing has caused court time conflicts between the two sports.

Pickleball player Erika Peace said she's had trouble finding places to play in D.C.

“There’s no place near me, right, like, my choices during the week are Capitol Hill, all the way Northwest, Palisades, other side of Georgetown," Peace said. "And so, that's part of my day, I plan on driving 30 minutes to go play pickleball for an hour."

The proposal originally included converting some basketball courts, but now only tennis courts will be considered, a Bowser spokesperson told News4.

The Bowser administration is looking at 17 locations across the District to locate the new courts.

The $750,000 price tag for the new courts comes as D.C. faces a massive budget shortfall and the mayor is having to cut other programs.

“Is it not an investment to make sure our city is more healthy?" Peace said. "That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable investment."

The Bowser administration plans to hold meetings to receive community feedback on converting tennis courts into pickleball courts in Congress Heights. On Wednesday, she will be holding a “Pickleball With Mayor Bowser” event that will teach the basics of the game.

“There are currently 36.5 million pickleball players estimated in the U.S. Tomorrow, there will be one more,” @MayorBowser tweeted.

The proposal will need to be approved by the D.C. Council.

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