CARLSBAD, Calif. — As they do on most afternoons, members of the North Coast Beach Volleyball on Wednesday took to the courts in Carlsbad.
The group helps promote the sport and installed the first courts more than a decade ago.
“We have about 150 active players. It's just an awesome sport because you've got sunshine, you're in your bathing suit just playing with your friends,” said Tom Geldner, with North Coast Beach Volleyball.
The courts – and others nearby – are on a state park. In 2012, the state allowed a concessionaire to run some of them, but now the group said the state wants to privatize all but one court at each beach.
"One court per location is ridiculous. These courts are filled on weekend and holidays," said Geldner.
Some members are concerned about potential costs to play a sport that was once free. Others are skeptical, citing complaints about the current concession company and point out all the fuss is over just about $8,000 that the state earns from its share of sales.
"I could guarantee you i could go out here and collect $8,000 from the volleyball community and hand it over to the state and say: 'Just return it. Make it free,'" said Geldner.
The North Coast Beach Volleyball group plans to protest on January 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Carlsbad where State Parks is scheduled to have a meeting with potential future concessionaires.
News 8 did reach out multiple times to State Parks on Wednesday, but they did not respond to a request for comment.