By Carol Tannenhauser
Fourteen pickleball courts, accomodating 4-8 people a piece from 7 am – 9 pm, will be available at Wollman Rink, located at the southern end of Central Park, from April 7 to October 9.
That represents 196 hours of pickleball play daily (weather cooperating) — and makes the facility the largest pickleball installation in the Northeast, according to Wollman Park Partners (WPP), which runs Wollman Rink, and CityPickle, which will run the pickleball program.
Here are the details, released Thursday morning:
Full price court rental options range from $80-$120 total per hour for off-peak and peak times respectively, translating to as little as $10 per person for an hour of play. Each game lasts approximately 10-15 minutes, offering the flexibility to share an hour of play with a rotating group of players. CityPickle custom paddles are available to rent for $6 per paddle, or players are welcome to bring their own. Court reservations will be available beginning March 31.
CityPickle programming includes lessons, clinics, open-play, leagues, and tournaments and offers countless opportunities for beginners to advanced players. A diverse slate of CityPickle coaches are available to teach and can be booked by visiting www.city-pickle.com. The venue will also accommodate birthday parties and corporate events.
In case you haven’t heard, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country. Played by people of all ages and physical abilities, it is a perfect fit for Central Park, the press release noted, “one of New York City’s most democratic spaces. It combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong on a badminton-size court that requires a net, paddle and wiffle ball. Enjoying a day of pickleball requires no existing knowledge of the game.”
CityPickle and WPP are making time at the courts available to several nonprofit organizations at no cost, including the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Boys Club of New York, YMCA of Greater New York, Solutions Now, and Fountain House.
As in seasons past, food and drink will be provided by Great Performances. “Nine private courtside cabanas are also available to rent for socializing and special occasions,” the release said. “The cabanas come with certain courts to maximize opportunities for people to take advantage of the communal nature of pickleball.”
In the off-season of 2022, Wollman Rink was transformed into a retro roller disco, called the DiscOasis.
What about the northern park rink?
Lasker Pool (in summer)/Rink (in winter) is being fully restored, and is expected to be completed in 2024. The area that includes the rink/pool and some of the paths/open areas nearby will be renamed to the Harlem Meer Center and include a full-scale ice rink, huge pool, spray pad, a boardwalk at the edge of Harlem Meer that will turn into an “ice ribbon” for skating, and recreating the connection between Harlem Meer and the Loch (in North Woods).
More info: https://www.centralparknyc.org/restoration/harlem-meer-pool-and-rink
Rink and Pool will be SMALLER than the ones they replace. NYC government fails again. Somebody is getting rich. follow the $$$$
The rink will be bigger. Lasker had 3 small ice rinks and will now have 1 large one. This isn’t good IMO. With the small rinks they could have public skating on one while the other one was used for classes or hockey practice or Ice Hockey in Harlem or Figure Skating in Harlem. How or if those lost cost programs for neighborhood kids will get ice time is TBD. Overall, I doubt this is good for the neighborhood residents.
It is true the old rinks were too mall to allow hockey games for teenagers. But by that age they can travel to a bigger rink.
You are absolutely correct that it worked out well because local youth hockey and figure skaters could use one side while the other side was public skate. (I only ever recall 2 rinks) This allowed programs like non check ice hockey programs for both girls and boys; Hockey in Harlem; Central Park North Stars, (a hockey program for children and adults with developmental disabilities; and sled hockey for paraplegics to reach out to under-served communities while still turning a profit with public skate.
Such a loss for the community that these community youth programs were bumped to the lowest priority.
I believe 4 people usually play per court, so that turns out to be $20 each. Not exactly accessible in my opinion.
Good news for some, bad news for skaters!
Is there a lot of skating before October?
There was roller skating there last summer and it was a blast.
This is another example of the privatization of public space! The price is simply outrageous. For pickleball to be accessible for most New Yorkers (not the 1%!) you need to have courts available to all through permits, similar to how the tennis courts are available to players. One of the joys of pickleball is that players just show up and rotate in; collecting $120/hour is simply outrageous. Give Central Park back to the people and allow permits to be used for accessibility. This is not good news; it’s an outrage.
your comment is correct and should yield a change from the mayor
Good idea. Let them go down there instead of takin pver the hand ball courts at the 97th st. Recreation center. These courts are for wall games not net games.
I find the amount of money required to play is not very “Age-Friendly”!
Awww, too bad. The fair is much better.