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San Francisco Wants to Charge to Reserve its Pickleball Courts

by Jason Flamm on

Want to play pickleball on a public court in San Francisco? Then you might just have to pony up in the very near future.

At least this is what the SF Recreation and Park Department voted on unanimously recently as they aim to combat the over-population of courts and the conflicts it causes.

Why the fee?

Up until now, public tennis and pickleball courts have been free for players to reserve. But, due to overbooking, the change from free to a $5 per hour fee has been determined as necessary across 28 of the 66 locations the department oversees.

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The number of pickleball courts in the 100 most populous US cities has increased by 6x over the last six years.

The remaining 38, they say, will remain first-come, first-serve (pun not intended).

What about cancellations?

Any reservation system, especially a free one, always has to deal with late cancellations or no-shows. To combat this, the department is offering partial refunds for those who reserve early and try to cancel ahead of their booked court time.

The initiative must be approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to take effect.

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The saga continues for Presidio Wall residents, who had their pickleball courts taken and stripped away from them.

Will other municipalities follow suit?

It'll be interesting to see if this new fee solves some of the issues the department has run into or causes more headaches than it's worth.

If it succeeds, it wouldn't be shocking to see a similar system created in parks across the country.

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Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

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