Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fewer people playing tennis

From New York Magazine:

The number of tennis players that pay fees to play on the city’s tennis courts has dropped by nearly 30 percent in recent years, city records show, a decrease so severe and unexpected that city officials are struggling to find a way to get all the lost players back.

According to Parks Department financial records, obtained by New York, the most significant drop in participation has been among players who purchase seasonal permits. Over the past four years the number of adults who purchase these passes has decreased by 43 percent. The primary reason for the drop, officials believe, is a controversial price increase in 2010. Back then, city officials felt that $100 for seasonal permits was too low. Instead of raising prices incrementally, they doubled the cost of a seasonal permit to $200. The next year, the number of seasonal permits sold dropped from 12,416 to 7,411, and since then the number has hovered around 7,000.

The second biggest drop was among those purchasing single-play tickets, which are good for an hour’s worth of tennis. In 2010, the price for single-play tickets was $7, a bargain that inspired thousands to stock up on their passes. But after the price of single-play passes increased to $15, there was a 32 percent drop, from roughly 40,778 single passes sold in 2010 to about 27,831 in 2014.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't see too many golfers using city courses either....

Anonymous said...

They make it difficult for time and cash strapped NYers to play tennis. YOu have to get somewhere far from your local court and pay a high fee before you can maybe if you have time squeeze in some time on your local court, requiring investments in a permit you are not sure you will be able to use. You should be able to pay to play at your local court with no need for a permit purchased in some far away location first! NYers never know whether and when they will have time to play!

Anonymous said...

How is that for a prime example of basic economics in action? Of course the city employees that were responsible for this increase in fees probably never took a class in economics so they don't see the immediate reaction to their policies.

Why did it take 5 years for someone to spell it out this simply?

What are they going to do now? Use our tax money to advertise to get some of those tennis players back? Stupidity in action. Government in action.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's the air quality? Seriously - NYC smells like burnt rubber and smog now. Who would want to pay money to play any sort of sport in NYC when you can get out of town, likely pay less in the suburbs, and breathe better?

Tennis has taken a real hit in popularity here. I doubt many of the younger generation are playing.

Joe Moretti said...

Both golf and tennis are very skilled activities and are time consuming, especially golf, which young people today do not have the patience for. Plus with golf, it is expensive.

Much better and easier to take a photo with one's expensive newest cell phone of that meal you are having at the newest hot spot and put it on Facebook and twitter about it.

Anonymous said...

Tennis, like golf is a foolish and wasteful "sport"aimed at mimosa swilling Sunday NY Times reading hoi polloi.Who needs it, and by extension, THEM?

Anonymous said...

It seems participation in many sports has gotten smaller over the years,even the "national pastime" baseball. Get the kids off the video games and out of the house. It is no coincidence that you see so many fat kids around. We are doing our children a disservice by letting them spend the summer in front of a screen instead of out playing a sport.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye tennis courts. Hello soccer fields.

Anonymous said...

Take those un used tennis courts and golf courses And Build More Low income Houses for the Dependent Class!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Seasonal 2010 2014 % change
Permits 12,416 7,411 -40%
Price $100 $200 100%
Gross $1,241,600 $1,482,200 19%

Hourly 2010 2014 % change
Permits 40778 27831 -32%
Price $7 $15 114%
Gross $285,446 $417,465 46%

While they did GROSS more money, the underlying questions are:
1. Is Money the only reason for doing this?
2. Could this have been implemented more gradually and thus maintained a greater level of participation?

On question 2, I believe the answer is NO, resoundingly NO! Our parks are for the use of all of NYC's citizens and visitors. It's all part of the PUBLIC GOOD.

On question 2, Raising by $25 per year and 2$ per hour would have brought us to the same prices, but I suspect that more people would have continued to play. Precipitous price increases usually force people tp make decisions and it seems the decision was to give up tennis.

Anonymous said...

Lower the damn fee. It is too expensive and someone told me it went up $100 recently. I used to love playing tennis, but had to give it up long ago because I need to pay my rent and metrocard and everything else that went up.

Anonymous said...

the reason people don't play is because it's $400 for two people to get a court in decent repair, unless you want to pay $30 an hour, with an hourly pass meaning you're lowest priority to book so you still get a crappy court.

frankly it's a fucking joke. from their website "The USTA's mission is To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis." Nothing says "promoting the growth of tennis" like having your largest tournament in the city with the highest fees. the USTA should be taken to task for this; they're the only entity that i think could get some spotlight on this issue.
-somethingstructural

Anonymous said...

I honestly never understood why you have to pay to use any part of public park land in the first place (it's why I never bother to play tennis in the city myself). Handball courts, basketball courts, swings, park benches are all free to use- why is tennis different? Does the funding come from a separate source, and if so why?

Richard Iritano said...

Alsa, all of New York City is a f**king, unfunny joke---as the biggest, most intensely incompetent, unfunny joke himself, Bill de Blahsio (and his third rate First Lady of Leisure), continues to turn back the clock to rampant, 1970's societal collapse and anarchy, as the other predatory gargoyle in Albany finishes off the entire state, with a vengeful impunity!

The tennis story itself would be marginally funny, if it wasn't so pathetic, as the deranged inmates continue to control the asylum!

Garbage in---garbage out!

Anonymous said...

Tennis, baseball, and golf require civilized behavior, quiet concentration, dress codes, and have many rules. Compare that to basketball and soccer where its basically a free for all. And NYC is going away from civilized behavior, well dressed classy people, and rules.

Example: Silence and concentration are required for tennis and golf and baseball to some extent. Uncivilized shrieks, unkempt dress, and thug-like behavior are the norm for soccer and basketball.

BTW - golf is not very expensive. Used clubs can be had for $100.00 on CL. It costs $50.00 for two guys to play 18 holes with a cart by me.

Anonymous said...

>double the prices
>wonder why usage has dropped by half

Can't they put 2 and 2 together?

Anonymous said...

Tennis is done (like golf and baseball). The players are ageing up and out. The future is soccer, soccer, and more soccer. Writing is on the wall.