The Times-Independent

Pickleball courts, yes, but not at Old City Park


The pickleball community in Moab has been dealt a disservice the past few years as they’ve tried to get pickleball courts built in Moab.

File photo

However, building them at the Old City Park is not the solution. They deserve a more responsive coordinated approach to helping them get courts. They need a working group composed of the county, the city, Old Spanish Trail Arena, the school district (which has lots of land in the city), the Grand County Recreation Special Service District, and the PB association. Let’s get them some pickleball courts! But not at our last remaining quiet and locals park.

There’s currently a petition circulating with nearly 900 signatures that says No to building courts at Old City Park. This petition has been signed by people across the entire political spectrum in Moab. It’s not some “neighborhood thing.”

These signatures don’t indicate opposition to pickleball, but [signers] believe if the courts are going to be built out in the valley, they need to be built at the OSTA multi-sports complex. The OSTA has been designed the past few years as a multi-sport venue as the population of Moab expands out into the valley.

The OSTA has a space already designated for pickleball courts, has all the parking, water, electricity, bathrooms, and has other sports venues, such the ball parks, soccer fields and outdoor pavilion. An additional huge plus is that they have a fulltime maintenance crew.

If the proponents of pickleball in Moab see this sport expanding into tournaments, why wouldn’t they insist courts out in the valley be built at this facility?

Contrary to what a Grand County commissioner recently said, the Old City Park is not “underutilized.” It is used for weddings, family reunions, birthdays, concerts, and just general relaxing by all residents of the county, looking to get out of the noise and congestion of Moab.

It does not have the infrastructure for pickleball courts and pickleball tournaments. And, the grant for these courts has not been approved, making it relatively easy to amend the location to county lands at OSTA. Moab City can still contribute the funding it has identified.

Make the right decision here, for the residents and the pickleball players. There is not one viable reason to put it at the Old City Park, and every reason in the world to put it at OSTA if it’s to be out in the valley.

— Kathryn Jackson