‘Looney Tunes’ basketball court in Williamsburg closed for safety concerns

The basketball court at Rodney Park Center in Williamsburg received a cartoon makeover -- but now it's closed after locals complained it made the court slippery and unsafe. Photo Credit: Liam Quigley

Locals say the court at Rodney Park Center is unplayable after a Warner Bros.-branded renovation.

The basketball court at Rodney Park Center in Williamsburg received a cartoon makeover -- but now it's closed after locals complained it made the court slippery and unsafe.
The basketball court at Rodney Park Center in Williamsburg received a cartoon makeover — but now it’s closed after locals complained it made the court slippery and unsafe. Photo Credit: Hulu/Jasper Savage

Williamsburg basketball players are in a jam.

Earlier this month, two artists hired by the Warner Bros. company covered a Brooklyn basketball court with Looney Tunes characters as part of a joint project with the parks department. The court, part of Rodney Park Center in Williamsburg, also got upgraded hoops as part of the renovation.

But locals were surprised Thursday morning when they were greeted with new fences, signs and security guards all blocking access to the court. Parks officials have not yet set a reopening date.

Paul Travisano, a local ballplayer, took to Twitter Tuesday to outline the problems with the new court, which he said was now too slippery to safely play on. Travisano also shared before-and-after photos on Twitter, and pointed out what he said were incorrectly marked lines on the court.

Area ballplayers were greeted by new high fences and security guards to keep them out on Thursday morning.
Area ballplayers were greeted by new high fences and security guards to keep them out on Thursday morning. Photo Credit: Liam Quigley

“The first time I played was a couple of days ago, and I was just sliding all over the place,” Travisano said Wednesday evening as he walked the court in the rain. “I was talking with some of the local kids about how it was unplayable, and then that’s when I noticed the lines were totally wrong.”

Brooklyn Paper reported Wednesday that the artists were only responsible for the mural — not the slippery top coat and other markings.

As Travisano described the problems with the redesign, a man who said that he was not a city employee arrived and put up signs saying the park was temporarily closed for resurfacing.

“I’m actually really surprised and glad that there is even a response. But that’s pretty immediate. I just started tweeting about this morning,” Travisano said. “I just want a court that’s usable and that’s safe for everybody. That’s it.”

In an email, NYC Parks spokeswoman Anessa Hodgson said the fences will only be temporary.

Parks officials have not yet set a reopening date.
Parks officials have not yet set a reopening date. Photo Credit: Liam Quigley

“Currently, as a safety precaution we have installed fencing to temporarily close the court as we explore how to best address these issues,” she said, adding: “This is the tenth site that we have renovated through the Creative Courts program, which has proven to be a welcome and successful program in many communities.”

David Cruz, 59, and a longtime player at Rodney Park, said that he was happy to see the court upgraded despite the temporary closure.

“I appreciate the work. It looks great. It looks really good," he said. "We’re very happy to see whatever we have, something that’s gonna make us happy.”

“The Tune Squad is invading Brooklyn!,” reads the promotional text on a website for Warner Bros.’s “Get Animated Invasion” marketing scheme, of which the mural is a part.

Liam Quigley