Runyon Canyon Joggers Won't Stand For Corporate-Branded Basketball Court
They could reluctantly accept a four-month closure of their beloved park for pipe replacement work, but the joggerati of Runyon Canyon have made it clear that they won’t let the construction of a corporate-branded basketball court halfway up their trail happen without a fight.The L.A. Times reports that parkgoers are furious over the planned Department of Recreation and Parks partnership with streetwear brand Pink+Dolphin, which was announced just weeks ago. The company will pay to build what the Times calls an “expensive and much-needed” retaining wall at the park, along with the aforementioned logo-bearing basketball court. There will also be a water fountain for people and dogs, also branded, though this time by AQUAhydrate, a Los Angeles-based health and fitness company that produces alkaline and electrolyte mineral water. According to an agreement with Recreation and Parks, Pink+Dolphin will fully fund the court and retaining wall at a cost of approximately $252,708. The company will also be responsible for annual maintenance for the next decade.
Rendering of proposed signage with city commentary.
Branded basketball court objectors packed a Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Monday night, overflowing out of the Will & Ariel Durant Branch Library meeting room. Some waited outside for as long as two hours to voice their dissent, according to the Times. Residents were angry about the lack of input from the public, as well as the fact that the city had approved the court without requiring an environmental impact review or sound tests. The neighborhood council voted unanimously to pass a motion opposing the basketball court and the commercialization of the park. Resentment was not limited to the city; the crowd was also angry with the nonprofit group Friends of Runyon Canyon Park, which incorporated and signed a memo of understanding with Recreation and Parks in 2014. The Times reports that “many in the crowd said that [Friends of Runyon Canyon Park], which knew about the basketball court deal, did not spread the word to park-goers. Some questioned whether the group is representative of those who use the park.”
Rendering of the proposed basketball court and logo.