Neighborhoods: Five Points, Kenilworth, Malvern Hills, Montford, Norwood Park, Oakley, Spears-Henrietta

Update on June 4, 2024

APR’s athletics team is researching options to provide rollaway pickleball nets that will be gentler on our court surfaces. As we determine vendor availability and pricing, we will have a better idea of the timeline. We’ll keep the community updated on progress with new nets, but it is likely to take a number of weeks before new nets arrive.

While we are able to give ample notice for planned projects, unexpected situations require quicker action. This was the case with net removal. We understand this can be frustrating, but it was the best decision to prevent further damage to courts.

Update on May 24, 2024

In 2023, Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) dual-lined all public tennis courts to include pickleball lines. Rollaway pickleball nets were selected based on input from the pickleball community and made available at select courts. Unfortunately, the weight of the championship quality nets has caused surface damage to courts. This includes damage at Malvern Hills and Murphy-Oakley parks where courts were recently resurfaced for around $47,000.

After working with the manufacturer to mitigate the damage, the high-quality rollaway pickleball nets will be relocated as the department explores alternative options for users. While we explore additional options for pickleball nets at courts, community members can continue to check out portable pickleball nets for up to seven days at no charge. Nets can be picked up at the following locations. Please call ahead to reserve.

 


For those unfamiliar with some of the terms used, we’ve provided a glossary at the bottom of the page. 

Pickleball, tennis, and bike polo are currently experiencing significant participation increases in Asheville and have ardent supporters advocating for their respective sport. In order to support both racquet sports, all public outdoor hard surface tennis courts in the Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) are now dual-lined shared use courts supporting tennis and pickleball.

No Net? No Problem!

Don’t have a pickleball net, but want to work on your dink shot? You can check one out for free for up to seven days! Nets can be picked up at the following locations. Please call ahead to reserve.

Photo identification and a waiver are required. For more info, call Zack Stewart at (828) 545-1644 or email zstewart@ashevillenc.gov.

Asheville public pickleball and tennis court scheduleShared Use Schedule

To view as a PDF, click here.

  • If courts are not being used, anyone can play either pickleball or tennis.
  • If there is not enough court space for the players of both sports, the sport with priority time is permitted to play and the other players should relinquish the court(s).
  • Time limits for all users are 1 hour for singles, 1.5 hours for doubles, and 2 hours for groups of 6-12.

Kenilworth Park

  • Pickleball: 7 a.m.-12 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 12-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Tennis: 7 a.m.-12 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; 12-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Malvern Hills Park (rollaway nets available)

  • Pickleball: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 2-10 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; 2-5pm on Sunday
  • Tennis: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 2-10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Bike Polo: 5-9pm on Sunday

Montford Park

  • Pickleball: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 2-9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Tennis: 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 2-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday

Murphy-Oakley Park (rollaway nets available)

  • Pickleball: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 2-10 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday
  • Tennis: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 2-10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday

Weaver Park (rollaway nets available)

  • Pickleball: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 2-10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
  • Tennis: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; 2-10 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday

 


Where to Play

Illustration of dual-lined shared use court lined for pickleball and tennis
Dual-lined shared use court for pickleball and tennis

Public courts are located in Kenilworth, Malvern Hills, Montford, Murphy-Oakley, and Weaver parks. All have lights for evening play except for Kenilworth, owing to its residential location.  

Permanent tennis nets are installed on all courts. Picklers need to bring their own portable nets.

Linwood Crump Shiloh and Stephens-Lee community centers also offer indoor pickleball courts with nets for year-round play at a rate of $3 for a single visit, $10 for a 10 visit pass, and $20 for a 25 visit pass.

 


Background

For those unfamiliar with some of the terms used, we’ve provided a glossary at the bottom of the page. 

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s most recent State of the Industry report, pickleball has grown nationally by 39.3% (or 1.36 million additional players) since 2019. During that same time, tennis has seen a national increase of 27.9% (or 4.9 million additional players, owing to its larger starting base). Asheville’s trends seem to be in line with national increases as many community members discovered or rediscovered these sports during the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of its public courts resurfaced over the past four years, APR maintains some of the best free community courts in the area.

Over the course of about 20 years beginning in the late-1990s, nine tennis courts were replaced with other amenities at Choctaw, Livingston, and West Asheville parks and Linwood Crump Shiloh and Tempie Avery Montford community centers following periods of slowing use. During that time, Aston Park Tennis Center did experience significant investments and is regularly cited as one of the finest publicly-owned clay surface tennis facilities in the nation with low-cost community access to 12 lighted tennis courts. APR manages an additional 11 public outdoor hard surface courts.

two young boys playing tennis

APR added indoor pickleball courts in gyms at two community centers in 2012 and 2014 with outdoor public courts at Kenilworth Park becoming dual-lined in 2016. A design sketch for eight pickleball courts at Recreation Park was previously unveiled at a public meeting in 2020. That project is still in the conceptual stage and no additional funding has been allocated.

As both tennis and pickleball continue to experience exceptional growth in popularity, many local players have contacted APR with ideas to balance and expand shared court usage to support both racquet sports. While an ideal long-term solution is development and/or expansion of sport-specific public sites, an upcoming master planning process will help identify opportunities, prioritize parks and recreation needs in the city, and act as a tool to secure funding for identified projects. 

As a department focused on community-level recreation, APR is dedicated to supporting both racquet sports with long- and short-term solutions. Following meetings to update court etiquette and usage rules, representatives from Asheville Tennis Association (ATA) and Asheville Pickleball Association (APA) shared their players’ considerations at meetings with APR on September 14, October 19, and November 9. Comments have also been collected from additional community advocates of both sports.

On October 25, the ATA board of directors approved a recommendation to add pickleball lines to all of APR’s public hard tennis courts and create an equitable structured play schedule, as well as a request for the City to pursue pickleball-only courts at Recreation Park.

Following the meeting with representatives from ATA and the APA organizing committee on November 9, APR announced that all public courts will be dual-lined for pickleball and tennis.

 


Community Engagement

2018

  • February 2: Community meeting at Stephens-Lee Community Center to discuss local pickleball players’ considerations

2019

  • March 20: Focus group meeting
  • September 19: Focus group meeting

2020

  • February 10: Community meeting at Stephens-Lee Community Center to discuss building dedicated pickleball courts at Recreation Park

2022

  • June 1: APR staff attend meeting of Asheville Pickleball Association (APA)
  • August 12: APR staff, Asheville-Buncombe Regional Sports Commission members, and Asheville Tennis Association (ATA) executive board members attend meeting of APA to discuss ways each group can support the others
  • September 14: Meeting with representatives from ATA and APA
  • October 19: Meeting with representatives from ATA and APA
  • November 9: Meeting with representatives from ATA and APA

 


Timeline

Early 1900s

  • The City of Asheville opens three clay tennis courts for public use on the site that will become Aston Park.

1928

  • The Asheville Open, the longest consistently-run sanctioned tennis tournament in North Carolina, is held at Aston Park for the first time.

1984

  • Buncombe County assumes management of Aston Park Tennis Center as part of an interlocal agreement that created Asheville/Buncombe Water Authority. At this time, APR manages public outdoor tennis courts in Choctaw, Kenilworth, Livingston, Malvern Hills, Montford, Murphy-Oakley, Shiloh, Weaver, and West Asheville parks and Montford Recreation Complex.

2005

  • Asheville/Buncombe Water Authority dissolves and the City of Asheville again assumes management of Aston Park Tennis Center.

2012

  • Stephens-Lee Community Center adds pickleball lines to its multi use gym

2014

  • Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center adds pickleball lines to its multi use gym

2016

  • Asheville’s first public shared use courts open when Kenilworth Park’s tennis courts are dual-lined during resurfacing.

2019

2023

  • March: All public tennis courts dual lined for pickleball use. Alternating shared use schedule instituted. 
  • April: Semi-permanent rollaway net delivered to Malvern Hills, Murphy-Oakley, and Weaver parks

 


Supporting Documents

 


Glossary of Terms

  • Pickleball is a sport in which individuals or teams of players hit a perforated polymer ball over a 36-inch high net using solid-faced rackets, commonly referred to as paddles. Though the appearance of a pickleball court and manner of play resemble tennis, the court is the size of a doubles badminton court, less than a third the size of a tennis court.
  • Tennis is a sport in which individuals or teams of players hit a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a 42-inch high net using cord-strung tennis racquets.
  • Dual lines, also known as shared lines or blended stripes, refer to courts that have dimensions marked for both pickleball and tennis courts. APR’s dual-lined courts have tennis boundaries marked in white and pickleball boundaries in light blue.
  • Shared use courts are those dual-lined for both pickleball and tennis play.
  • Public courts are available at low- or no-cost, open to the public, and managed for recreation by the City of Asheville.
  • Clay surface courts are made of crushed stone, brick, shale, or other unbound mineral aggregate. Aston Park Tennis Center includes 12 low-cost public clay tennis courts that are open annually from April 1-November 30.
  • Hard surface courts are made of asphalt or concrete and covered with acrylic resins to seal the surface and mark playing lines while providing some cushioning.

 


Contact Information

Wayne Simmons, Parks & Recreation, 828-259-5809

 


 

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