The clay tennis courts in Riverside Park. Photo by William Avery Hudson.
The city is cutting fees for tennis permits to $100 from $200, and allowing first-time permit-holders to sign up online.
The reduction comes after the Bloomberg administration progressively hiked annual permit fees to $200 in 2011 from $50 in 2003. The number of people getting permits fell substantially.
To play on a city court you need to have an annual permit, or each person must pay $15 to play for an hour. (Under the new city fee structure, the $15 fee will remain the same). People who have an NYC ID can get 10% off an annual permit.
In addition, the parks department is making it easier for first-time players to sign up. Previously, people who had never gotten a permit before had to go to one of six citywide locations to sign up. As of this year there will be 14 such sites, along with the online signup option.
“By halving fees to $100 a year, and streamlining the application process for New Yorkers, playing tennis will be even more accessible to a wider population, including those with lower incomes,” said Councilmember Mark Levine, who heads the city council’s parks committee.
Central and Riverside Parks have some of the best courts around, so check out your closest court and be sure to get there early on the day you want to play to sign up.
Registration is now open. You can get a permit and learn more at this site.