New courts ready to roll
The years long effort to expand the bocce courts at City Center Park behind the Library is finally about to be realized with the completion of two additional courts scheduled to open May 20th. Initially envisioned back in 2007 with the construction of the first two courts and creation of the Benicia Bocce League, organizers spent the last six years planning and fundraising for the engineering and construction of the additional courts. After raising $132,500, approximately half of the funds needed, the league partnered with the City of Benicia to acquire the additional funds necessary to make the vision a reality. Those efforts will finally be on display at the Grand Opening of the courts scheduled for Saturday, May 20th from 10:00am - 2:00pm.
All four courts are equipped with picnic benches and new barbecue grills and offer a great place for family, friends and community group gatherings large and small. The courts will be open to the public on a first come, first serve basis whenever league play is not scheduled. For the 2017 season, the bocce courts are available to the public on all weekdays from the early morning until 4:30pm, except Fridays from early morning to noon. The courts will also be available to the public all day on Saturdays. The courts are reserved for league play on weekday evenings and all day on Sundays.
The league expanded rapidly within the first few years from the initial 16 teams and soon reached maximum capacity for the two existing courts, locking out the ability for any expansion beyond the 39 teams and approximately 400 players registered since 2012. With the expectation of new courts on the way, the league opened registration to the community this winter for the 2017 season and has been rewarded with 17 new teams and 150 new members. The league now boasts a membership of 540 players and 56 teams. It is the largest adult recreation league in the City.
The league will be hosting the grand opening ceremony starting at 10:00am on the 20th and plans to provide hands-on clinics on the basics and finer points of the game along with Italian snack goodies and beverages for all league members and the Benicia community at large to enjoy. So roll on down to the courts to see what Benicia Bocce is all about for yourself. It’s a Ball.