Pickleball, a close relative of tennis and badminton, may be the fastest-growing sport in America, and it’s competing with tennis for participants and real estate.
BREC officials say the parks agency is working to meet the demand in Baton Rouge at both new and existing facilities.
“We realize the tremendous popularity and growth of pickleball around the country and locally,” Reed Richards, BREC’s assistant superintendent of system planning, says by email. “As such, we are moving forward in earnest to meet the needs of the growing number of pickleball players throughout the parish.”
Richards says BREC is in the midst of a systemwide study of its large inventory of outdoor tennis and basketball courts to determine where it can provide new pickleball courts, along with other court sports. You can fit four pickleball courts on a standard tennis court, according to SportMaster.
BREC has built 12 new dedicated pickleball courts at Greenwood Community Park, says Ryan Vineyard, who manages tennis facilities for BREC. There are four outdoor courts at the Highland Road Community Park location and 17 pickleball courts on eight different neighborhood park tennis courts scattered across the parish, along with courts at seven indoor gyms, he says.
New pickleball courts also are planned at the system’s next community park, on Airline Highway, where construction is planned to begin next year.
You can read more about BREC’s pickleball offerings here.
This story originally appeared in a May 27 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.