Pickleball interest in Metro Detroit increases, so cities add courts

When Jeremy Cybulski’s friends learned that he made his own pickles, they joked that he should try pickles.

The Livonian resident already knew how to play tennis. At age 40, he fell in love with the sport that he considers a perfect amalgamation of tennis and ping pong.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said, preparing to play at Livonia’s Bicentennial Park. “It’s good exercise. Glad to see there’s been such great interest in the game over the last couple of years.”

Yes indeed. Pickleball is growing in popularity in Metro Detroit, and communities are working hard to respond to requests for more pickleball courts.

Older athletes seem to enjoy the sport, but the chance to hit a pickleball serve and not pickle (ahem, not score a point) is attracting athletes of all ages.

Members of a Livonia pickleball league played on Monday night, May 16, 2022, at Bicentennial Park.

“We feel that we have served the need very well,” said Ethan Engel, Livonia’s athletics coordinator.

Livonia has 12 unique pickleball courts located at the north and south ends of the city. The city installed the first courts in Compton Park and then repurposed Bicentennial Park’s tennis courts for pickleball a few years ago. Shelden Park also has tennis courts lined up for pickleball.

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