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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Pickleball Plans New York City Takeover This Summer

  • Central Park's Wollman Rink will be a 14-court pickleball venue this summer.
  • The courts will allow for 196 hours of available playing time each day.
An artistic rendering of pickleball courts at Central Park in New York City.

The pickleball craze is coming to the Big Apple’s most famous outdoor space.

New York City-based CityPickle will transform Central Park’s Wollman Rink into a 14-court pickleball venue that will be open to the public from April 7 to Oct. 9. The company will begin taking reservations this coming Friday.

The courts will allow for 196 hours of available playing time each day.

Players can book a court for $80 per hour at off-peak times and $120 per hour at peak times. CityPickle will also offer paddle rentals for $6 each, but players are welcome to bring their own.

“Right now, the way many people play is they bring their own nets to scraps of pavement around the city,” CityPickle co-founder Erica Desai told the New York Times. “They can’t schedule ahead. They’re playing on surfaces that are cracked. In Wollman, not only will we be able to accommodate a lot of people, they’ll be playing on a professional surface.”

Major League Pickleball — a 24-team pro league — also plans to hold exhibition matches at the Central Park location this summer, per Bloomberg.

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Wollman Rink was operated by the Trump Organization from the 1980s until 2021, when then-NYC mayor Bill de Blasio moved to end the city’s contract with the company.

Wollman — which operates as an ice skating rink in the winter and warm-weather recreation space in the summer — is now run as a joint venture between Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the Equinox Group, and Related Companies.

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