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.