For years, I have thought that public paddle tennis courts would be extremely popular in Buffalo. Paddle tennis has long been the rage in cities like Cleveland. In Buffalo, there are a couple of private courts currently (at The Saturn Club), and I hear that another one might someday be established at another city club.
The greatest aspect of paddle tennis is that it can be played year round, even in the middle of winter. The courts are durable and heated. Even as the snow flies, the heaters under the court’s surface melt the snow as it lands, adding a magical outdoor aspect to the game. Public paddle tennis courts would be a great way to keep Buffalonians active throughout the year. It’s a relatively easy game to play, and a heck of a lot of fun. This would be the perfect racket sport for Larkinville to pursue, or even the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC).
I couldn’t believe it when I read that NYC was in the process of establishing public squash courts (seasonal) in some of its parks. Court manufacturers ASB, along with a non-profit foundation called Public Squash, in cooperation from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR), are setting out to establish the first outdoor public squash courts in the city. Already NYC is known for having over 2000 handball courts (hello Buffalo?), which is a super popular healthy activity due to its low cost and accessibility. But squash enthusiasts have pointed out that people are looking for public squash courts (online searches), which is how they convinced the NYCDPR to embrace the project.
US Squash is backing the initiative and feels that this could be the best way to open up the sport to those who normally don’t have access to the typically exclusive sport. The organization is looking at NYC as the testing ground, before reaching outward to other cities. While Buffalo might not have the population of international cities such as NYC, a couple of courts (either squash or paddle), would be a great way to get more people out playing racket sports that are high energy and a lot of fun to play. There is no reason that smaller cities should not have access to the athletic amenities that larger cities take for granted (or soon will).
Read more about this initiative at ussquash.com (rendering).