Several Colorado cities are now dealing with growing pains from the fastest-growing sport in America.
Centennial has put a moratorium on new pickleball courts, while Denver has decided to close four of its most popular courts in the city.
“As this sport has grown, we’ve tried to grow with it and this court shows we are trying to address that but we need to do it right and we don’t just need to jam some courts into a park that doesn’t support that activity,” said Scott Gilmore, the deputy executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation, as he stood by new courts constructed inside Bear Valley Park in southwest Denver.
“This is done right. These courts are approximately 400 feet from the nearest homes and if you look at the park there’s vegetation. and other things between these and the community,” Gilmore continued.
Popular courts at Congress Park were across the street from more than a dozen homes that could hear the “thwack” of a wooden paddle and the plastic ball. That contact is frequently measured at around 70 decibels.
“It’s 71 decibels. That violates the noise ordinance by 16 decibels. And when you’ve got three or four courts going that noise just expands,” Gilmore said.
The city also scrapped plans for pickleball courts at Sloan’s Lake because they would be about 100 feet from residences.
The noise is also behind Centennial’s decision to pause new court construction near homes.
USA Pickleball told CBS News Colorado the noise issue only impacts 0.1% of courts in the country.
Demand for the sport is skyrocketing and has been the fastest-growing sport for three years in a row.
Gilmore says Denver, as well as other cities, thought they could simply repurpose old tennis courts. But the noise from pickleball is simply louder than tennis and creates issues when courts are placed too close to homes.
“(We want to) address the mistakes we have made and move forward and find locations that are appropriate,” said Gilmore.
Source: Rocky Mountain News
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