Posted by: cantmisssd | February 23, 2010

Balboa Park Activity Center

The Balboa Park Activity Center admittedly serves a niche market, which is presumably why it flies under the radar. But on the other hand, San Diego has made itself into a city for niche activities, from Earth Day to bocci ball, this is a city that proudly embraces and owns the relatively obscure. So a sports facility devoted to table tennis and badminton (and apparently volleyball sometimes)? Why not?

The Activity Center is a new addition to the park, dedicated in 1999 and representing the first new addition to the park since the 1960s. Despite the size (38,000 sq ft), it’s easy to miss it as you cruise through the park, set back on the southeast side of Park Blvd across from the Worldbeat Center and Centro Cultura de la Raza. It’s (oddly) oriented away from the street, and makes little to no use of the courtyard space that fronts on Park Blvd. The interior is remarkably spartan, with a simple front foyer that provides access to two ranks of badminton courts and one set up for table tennis.

I’ve been through on a number of occasions, weekends, weekdays, midday, late afternoons, etc and it always seems to be bustling, so I guess the niche market is working just fine. The Center also offers badminton and table tennis lessons from champions holding intimidating credentials, so if you’ve been biding your time waiting for the right table tennis instructor, this may be your chance.

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