People fighting to lower the cost of playing pickleball in Cape Coral

Author: Jillian Haggerty
Published: Updated:

The price of playing on these courts is putting people in a pickle. The Lake Kennedy Racquet Center has yet to open, but there are a lot of concerns.

People told the Cape Coral City Council what they think of the high cost of the courts and the limited playing hours for both tennis and pickleball.

WINK News talked to people who just want to play without a big burden on their wallet.

Pickleball players filled the seats at Wednesday’s city council meeting, outraged, upset and disappointed, saying there are other ways to generate money.

The pickleball community in Cape Coral said they feel they are being served.

“It’s now separating the wealthier who can go pay a pretty high fee for a facility and for those, we have public courts the city is competing against itself,” said Byron Higgins, pickleball player.

Fees could start at $60 a month or $540 annually for anyone living in Cape Coral, or if you live elsewhere, it will cost you up to $900.

And this doesn’t sit well with some pickle ballers.

Leigh Daniels said this proposal is a joke.

“The first man that spoke about the proposals talked about exceeding the cost of recovery going below the cost of recovery or matching. There is no cost of recovery it’s been paid for since day 1,” Daniels said.

Daniels, along with others in the community, are worried the prices could drive players out.

“I think by making it unaffordable to the average person here and the average family will make this totally unutilized,” said Charley Valera, pickleball player.

Those who showed up hoped council members would rally for a better solution.

“Well, hopefully, they listen to the fact that they have the ball in their court. At this point, all we want to do is make our point clear to them,” Valera said.

“The intent was to bring proposals that were not set by us but set forth by a third party for us to consider and consider you alls input,” said Keith Long, Cape Coral District 6.

They’re going to use all the information they received to reach a resolution. The pickleball courts are slated to open in July.

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