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Seattle Parks and Rec preps new pickleball and tennis hubs ahead of summer weather

Seattle Parks and Rec is opening two new sports-specific hubs, refurbishing courts, and testing a new pickleball pilot program.

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Pickleball was invented on Bainbridge Island in 1965.

Screenshot via Seattle Parks and Rec

Got a dinking problem? Seattle Parks and Rec (SPR) is making it a little bit easier to indulge in your paddle sport desires with two new sports-specific hubs, court refurbishment, and a new “Quiet Paddles-only” pilot program.

These updates are based on the results from the 2022 Outdoor Pickleball Study and a recent 2024 SPR Pickleball and Tennis Vision, which assess how SPR can make these sports more accessible.

Let’s look at the deets.

🎾 Hub-ba, hub-ba

If you already play pickleball or tennis on Seattle’s public courts, it’s no surprise that sharing these spaces with each other can get a little distracting — because of the differences in noise levels and the overlapping boundary lines.

To resolve these drawbacks, Green Lake Park’s East Courts will become a dedicated pickleball hub + Woodland Park’s lower courts will be dedicated to tennis players.

Two red and blue signs are hung on chainlink fence above the purple Belltown Pickleball Courts. The identical signs read "Game on. Sound off! Test the UW engineered paddle today! It's 50% quieter than traditional paddles. Pick up and return a loaner paddles at any of these locations. City Foods, Teku Tavern and Cafe, and Zeeks." A map on the sign shows the location of these three businesses that are all within two blocks of the courts.

The Belltown Pickleball Courts now have signs up reminding players about the new Quiet Paddles rule.

Photo by SEAtoday Staff

🤫 Shhhh... Quiet paddles only

Sometimes a solid whack from a paddle can be pretty satisfying... unless you’re hearing it from the apartments nearby.

SPR is testing out a new Quiet Paddles-only pilot on the Belltown Pickleball Courts at the intersection of Fifth and Taylor Avenues. Players must bring paddles meeting USA Pickleball’s criteria for a quiet paddle (which can reduce the noise by ~50%) or borrow one from nearby businesses City Foods, Teku Tavern + Cafe, or Zeeks Belltown that have them on hand.

🏓 Other updates

In addition to the projects above, SPR will also be:

  • Resurfacing and restriping the David Rodgers Park courts, Amy Yee Tennis Center outdoor courts, and half of the courts at Solstice Park (if budget allows)
  • Pursuing a South Seattle location for new pickleball courts after the proposed Lincoln Park addition was deemed unsuitable

Players of either sport are encouraged to provide feedback on these programs through its new Racquet and Paddle Sports engagement hub.

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