Montvale will start charging out-of-towners to use its basketball courts

A Bergen County town has introduced an ordinance that would require outsiders to pay a permit to play basketball on the town’s courts.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2021, 12:31 AM

Updated 1,124 days ago

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A Bergen County town has introduced an ordinance that would require outsiders to pay a permit to play basketball on the town’s courts.
The plan would be to require non-Montvale residents to buy a badge to use the Memorial Field basketball courts. The law will go into effect and will be enforced once the proper signage is posted. It would only apply to players who do not have a Montvale address.
The badge would cost $25 and is a yearly membership. Players say that forcing non-residents to pay would possibly drive them away.
“We were getting some complaints that our residents don't get the time to play on the courts,” says Mayor Mike Ghassali. “Every year we try to find a solution. We thought about maybe fencing it…so we thought the best way is to issue these badges, very similar to the beach badges.”
Players tell News 12 New Jersey that they are disappointed by the new rule.
“There are tons of courts – outdoor courts – that aren’t going to have this policy. People could just play there instead, they don’t have to come here,” says Montvale resident Nick Lukmann. "This has been like the spot to come to in the summer that made Montvale such a great town to come to and play basketball."
“I might have to start playing somewhere else because I’m not really trying to pay,” says Kenechi Oti, of Rockland County, New York.
Some players say that the ordinance will drive away talent that comes from out of town that typically provides good competition for them.
"I grew up on this court and I feel like one of the reasons how I've gotten better is playing against good competition," Lukmann says.
The badges will be sold at Montvale Borough Hall next week. News 12 has been told that there are other courts in the borough that are on school property and the law doesn't apply to those courts.


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