Two pickleball players stand with paddles, readying themselves for the ball on a tennis court with lines taped for the smaller pickleball court at Memorial Park in Cupertino.
Pickleballers at Memorial Park in Cupertino could get eight designated courts for the sport as a part of the city's overhaul of the park. Photo by Annalise Freimarck.

Cupertino pickleballers are fed up with having to share city courts with tennis players — but a solution might be coming.

The Cupertino City Council unanimously approved a plan this month that includes eight pickleball courts in Memorial Park’s conceptual design but there is no clear timeline when they will be available. The proposed courts would line Anton Way and Stevens Creek Boulevard with park construction expected to start in 2028, according to the plan. The park revisions are planned in three phases with the first phase estimated to cost roughly $37.6 million.

Players at Memorial Park use courts marked by tape and share the space with tennis players. Pickleball players have two tennis courts they can use from sunrise to 9 p.m. The situation has created friction between the two groups, pickleballers said, which could continue for years as the city builds out the courts.

Cupertino resident Doug Gor was one of roughly 100 pickleball aficionados who advocated for the courts at the recent meeting. He also suggested ways to address neighbors’ concerns over the noise, including the use of sound-proofing windscreens and shrubbery.

Gor, who started playing a year ago after his wife died, is on the courts about five times a week and said there are more than 500 people in the community’s WhatsApp group chat.

“I just needed something to try to get me out of the house and more involved in the social community,” he told Lucescamaray Blog. “That’s why I started coming here and it’s been really good for me personally.”

The proposed courts are part of the city’s plan to revitalize its largest park. After construction starts, the city expects Memorial Park's improvements to take up to 15 years over three phases. This includes another bocce ball court, improving spaces for annual festivals and expanding bike and pedestrian access. The project is estimated to cost $83.7 million, but the city has to finish finalizing the design of the park before it can identify funding through grants and development fees.

The city first began working on plans to improve the 28-acre park in 2022 as part of its parks and recreation master plan.

Vice Mayor J.R. Fruen said the city reached out to residents to hear what they wanted in the revitalization. He said the project is long overdue to give pickleball players their own courts. He also understands the importance of finding ways to reduce the noise.

“Memorial Park is everybody's park, more so than any other park in the city,” he told Lucescamaray Blog. “I think that the conceptual plan very much reflects that.”

For pickleball enthusiasts like Diana Yen, the proposed courts mean a place for her community to have fun. Yen, who goes out nearly every day, has been playing for a year and said she loves teaching others the joy of the sport.

“We just love pickleball and what it’s done for everybody. It just makes everybody happy to be here and we have a good community,” she told Lucescamaray Blog.

Contact Annalise Freimarck at [email protected] or follow @annalise_ellen on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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