The City is looking for other spaces where residents can play
With the growing popularity of pickleball, the city of Durango is looking to find outdoor spaces where it can accommodate players of this growing sport.
In many communities across the country, pickleball players are allowed to play on the tennis courts, but not in Durango.
Parks and Recreation Director Ture Nycum said many tennis courts owned by the city of Durango are tucked away in neighborhoods and the sport of pickleball can be a bit noisy for this setting.
“It’s difficult to set up pickleball courts on our tennis courts, not physically, but their use,” Nycum said. “The sound of the pickleball created by the paddles clicking on the ball tends to be disruptive in a neighborhood environment. “
It is an issue that communities across the country must tackle.
Nycum said he recognizes that a number of people enjoy pickleball and that the city is considering developing outdoor courts on one of its properties in the future.
“I am reopening the conversations about where we can set up pickleball courts on a permanent basis,” he said. “We are looking at a few options on our properties. … We are trying to find accommodation, but it is not as easy as you might think.
Nycum said if the city quickly finds a place to develop outdoor pickleball fields, it will likely still be in 2023 at the earliest before those fields are open to the public.
“We wish we could have it in the spring and summer to come, but realistically finding a location and having pickleball pitches built probably won’t happen until 2023,” he said.
Nycum said he was open to suggestions from the community regarding pickleball locations and that he was working with the local pickleball community to address the lack of outdoor courts.
“We are even trying to be creative and find open asphalt areas on which we can set up temporary courts,” he said. “If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, we’re all ears.”
In the past, the city has worked with the school district to enable pickleball at Needham Elementary School and Durango High School.
“We installed pickleball lines on the elementary school courts this summer, which again created problems with the neighborhood due to the noise created by the pickleball,” Nycum said.
In high school, the tennis courts were redone and the pickleball lines were not added as part of this project.
Pickleball is permitted at the Durango Community Recreation Center, but there are no outdoor options in town for pickleball players.
“It’s very popular,” said Deputy Director of Recreation Kelli Jaycox.
Jaycox said that in the morning when the fields are specifically designated for pickleball, around 25 to 30 players show up daily.
“If you walked in at around 10:30 am, you would see about 25 people in the gym playing pickleball,” she said.