Birmingham has provided a place for the pickleball community to play by painting lines on the Crestview Park tennis courts.

Birmingham has provided a place for the pickleball community to play by painting lines on the Crestview Park tennis courts.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Birmingham gains a temporary pickleball court

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 22, 2022


BIRMINGHAM — For years, the pickleball community has been requesting a place to play in Birmingham. After setbacks to their plans, the city has found a way to create courts for the community.

“We are pleased to be moving forward to provide pickleball courts in our community, as this racquet sport is ever so popular,” Department of Public Services Director Lauren Wood said.

At a City Commission meeting May 23, the commission decided that the city would paint lines on the Crestview Park tennis courts that will temporarily accommodate pickleball rather than tennis.

They intend for these courts to be used only for pickleball and not for tennis during this time.

One of the factors that played into this decision is the number of tennis courts in Birmingham.

Birmingham currently has 16 tennis courts, which far exceeds what is recommended for the city’s population.

The city is also bidding out a request to permanently convert the two tennis courts at Crestview Park to pickleball courts.

“Permanent outdoor pickleball courts will be available in a neighborhood near you soon,” Wood said.

The conversion of the Crestview tennis courts to pickleball courts will involve net replacements, crack repair, painting and resurfacing.

“If we are going to provide new pickleball courts, I’d like to have the cracks repaired, and I think the people of the pickleball community would appreciate it as well,” Parks and Recreation Manager Carrie Laird said.

When voters passed a parks and recreation bond in November 2020, pickleball was one of the top-priority projects.

Since the bond passed, city officials have asked for community input and participation in the process.

Through Engage Birmingham, the community has been able to fill out surveys online to share their thoughts on where the pickleball courts should be located.

The surveys showed that the public felt that Kenning Park would be the ideal spot for pickleball courts. The public also shared that they wanted brand-new courts.

Based on these results, the goal was to have new pickleball courts in Kenning Park available sometime in 2022; however, there have been some setbacks.

Issues have delayed the project, including a lack of sufficient funds left from the parks and recreation bond. The pickleball design contractor withdrew his services, and a review of the proposed site revealed a possible conflict with future city projects.

Specifically, Kenning Park could potentially be a site for an engineering project in 2023 or 2024 for some sewer work in order to alleviate stormwater issues in the area.

“Like the pickleball community, the commission was dismayed to learn that there had been a delay in implementing a new outdoor pickleball facility when the vendor withdrew and other issues arose,” Mayor Therese Longe said. “We believe Birnmigham should provide this amenity to support the demand for outdoor pickleball that has existed in our community for years.”

Instead of waiting until each obstacle is resolved, the city decided to offer pickleball to the community on a smaller scale as soon as possible.

“We understand that re-striping an existing court isn’t optimal, but it does provide an outdoor location this season. We will also continue to evaluate other potential sites for additional courts,” Longe said.

More information and updates can be found at