The new pickleball lines on Bayfront Park tennis courts are the first step in the town’s plan to bring more of the fast-growing racket sport to the island.
The light-blue lines, which cost about $850 to paint, and the two portable pickleball nets, which cost the town about $275 each, were purchased and installed in the wake of turmoil about pickleball popularity and the inaccessibility of the island’s one public court.
The Public Works Department, as of Monday, has not received any complaints about congestion at the shared court, said Mark Richardson, the town’s streets, facilities, parks and recreation manager.
Tom Diener, a pickleball player who’s petitioned for more courts in front of the Town Commission, said this is a good first step.
“It would be excellent if we could get a couple extra pickleball courts right there at the park,” Diener said.
Richardson said he plans to propose to the Town Commission that the island build four more pickleball courts to be installed near the Longboat Library. These courts, Richardson proposed, would be managed by the town’s Tennis Center, and subject to scheduling and membership fees as imposed by the center.
“It would just be a general good fit for the Tennis Center,” Richardson said. “Some people do want to sign up and not play first come, first serve, and the Tennis Center is the only place that has the staff to do that.”