Downtown Clayton to Get Four Bocce Ball Courts this Summer

March 13, 2014 8:00 am · 47 comments


The Clayton Business & Community Association announced this week they’re planning to build bocce ball courts in downtown Clayton.

Here’s the news….

The Clayton Business & Community Association, Inc. (CBCA), in a joint venture with Skipolini’s, Inc. and the founder of Skipolini’s (Lester “Skip” Ipsen) is constructing the “Ipsen Bocce Park,” four bocce courts on the corner of Main and Oak Streets in Clayton.

Once completed, the Ipsen Bocce Park will be operated by the CBCA. Plans include open (free) public play hours and league play. The courts will also be available for rental for private use, parties, and fundraising events.

Construction is expected to be completed in May of this year.

photo: Clayton Business & Community Association

LocalGirl March 13, 2014 at 8:45 AM

My husband and I are super excited about this – we love bocce and our downtown! Our fear is that it will be darn near impossible to get on a league — anyone know how or when they plan to start those sign-ups? We really want to play!

Happyness March 13, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Is that the same space that the church wanted to build on?

Yeh March 13, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I think it is the space next to the sandwich shop

Cathy M. March 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

I hope they check ID and make sure everyone actually lives in Clayton. We have to do everything possible to keep the riffraff out.

matt March 15, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Your the RIFF RAFF…..

No - not the church's lot March 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Where the church was going to build was between Clayton Rd. and Main St.

Susan March 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

This is absolutely wonderful, the retirees in the Clayton community will have a blast! I am going to sign my grandfather up to the first forming league.

Vanessa March 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

This is an excellent move on the part of Clayton, kudos for taking care of the elderly.

Craig March 13, 2014 at 9:52 AM

This is cool! Bocce is a lot of fun.

Old Timer March 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Now we have Baseball Fields Golf Courses Tennis Courts and now Bocce
Ball.How about a nice little lake for Boat Hobbyist and a Field for Airplaine

JET March 13, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Having worked for the Ipsen’s myself many years ago at Skips in Clayton (best job EVER), I’m glad to see this. They are a great family and they are invaluable to the Clayton community!

Claytonlvr March 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I’m hoping they don’t use oyster shells for the courts like so many places do. I love bocce but can’t play much of the time because of a shellfish allergy.

SC March 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

“Check ID and make sure actually everyone lives in Clayton” ?? really? I guess I didn’t realize you need a Clayton ID to enter Clayton?? Thankfully it does say it will be open to the public.

joe March 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Clayton Valley Charter is the best school ever. Better than DLS.

@#4 Cathy March 13, 2014 at 11:47 AM

David Rossen lives in Clayton… You guys proud of him?

puffandstuff March 13, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Seriously #4? Are you joking? I hope so – that make’s me sick. YOU give Clayton a bad name. Besides I don’t think Bocce Ball really draws that crowd that you are so afraid of. Do you ever step out of your house? Probably not, because it might pop your bubble!

SF CityGirl March 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

@kathy C, We’re going to have to see your ID to in order to let you into the Safeway… You know, the whole keeping the riffraff out is in full effect. I bet you think you own Mt. Diablo too??

boccegrl March 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Check IDs , thats really odd for a public facility

Me March 13, 2014 at 12:21 PM

@4: Does that mean for now we can exclude people from Clayton at the courts at Newhall Park? I do get annoyed by all the extra cars while I’m walking my dog.

I do admit though, Clayton is doing their city planning right. Its taken years but they aren’t adding in mini marts and fast food places like Concord keeps doing. Can we just add that whole corridor between Treat, Clayton Blvd and down to the WC boarder to Clayton–(Turtle Creek, Crossings, Crystal Ranch etc)?

BagsFlyFree March 13, 2014 at 12:39 PM

@4 get out of your bubble. You think your cozy town would be the same without Concord next door.. lol

Jim Shoes March 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Looks like the playground is going to be replaced by tables. That’s too bad.

Jack inithard March 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM

#4 is right if you look at Facebook someone from Antioch is excited. Clayton and Antioch are different people types, one is great and the other lacks a touch of class, maybe it’s all the section 8 in Antioch these days, riffraff is being polite y’all.

Clayton Pete March 13, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Re: BagsFlyFree #18:

“@4 get out of your bubble. You think your cozy town would be the same without Concord next door.. lol”

That is a funny post.
Clayton has a tiny fraction of the crime that Concord has; it has virtually no illegals roaming the streets and standing on corners; few (if any) homeless people wandering around panhandling; the median income is nearly double that of Concord… I could go on, but suffice it to say that Clayton does just fine on it’s own. It isn’t “Pleasantville” (we do have the token dive bar…) but it’s a beautiful little town; one of the gems of the county.
Not to slam Concord too much, but overall it’s negatives outweigh the positives (and there are some positives). Too bad, because at one time it was much nicer.

Anon March 13, 2014 at 1:07 PM

@ Cathy M- maybe you should never leave Clayton- God forbid you should ever come in contact with any riffraff.

Me March 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

@21: Yes, Clayton does have a fraction of the crime Concord does….because Clayton has a fraction of the population that Concord does. March 13, 2014 at 1:51 PM

For its size, Concord is an extremely safe city.

skippy March 13, 2014 at 1:51 PM

So why aren’t the people who were upset about the church plans also upset about this? It will also change the tone of a quiet downtown and bring increased cars and parking problems.

Milla March 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I don’t see a bunch of teens and youth lined up to play this game. This is an adult game mostly the older crowd, some younger but not many.

Silva March 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

I can hardly wait.

Dave March 13, 2014 at 3:26 PM

@ Clayton Pete—22

And what do you think people from Lamorinda, Alamo, and Danville, etc. think of you? And the city of Clayton?

If they’re down to earth and classy (and a lot of them are) they keep an even keel.

I grew up in Clayton and preferred Concord. There’s nothing to do in Clayton! No place to work, very few places to hang out, etc.

Get real. Without Concord, Clayton would be lost.

By the way, I still live in Clayton, and Concord has changed. But Clayton is still boring because there’s nothing to do.

If it wasn’t for my wife (who refuses to move) we would NOT be living in Clayton. Clayton needs more than a bocce court.

BagsFlyFree March 13, 2014 at 4:30 PM

@ The Claytonian Pete… Lets talk when your town can self serve its own gas. Concord is your cities main lifeline for goods and services, and to somehow set that aside to insert your crime stats and belittle the labor force that performs much of the upkeep in your town is a little shortsighted no?

Clayton has its own flavor of NIMBY and its well known (see above). I love the town, but lets not try to make it Blackhawk with ID checks and members only bocce ball mmmmkay..

BFF Out!

Antler March 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Claytonlvr at #11 …… Please contact the sponsoring association right away to tell them about the allergy issue. I for one never would have guessed that people who are allergic to shellfish are allergic to breathing the dust from crushed shells.

Clayton Home of Toads March 13, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Why would this be unusual for this town.? This town is full of toads anyway and this just confirms it.

Bocce ball? Really?
This town is the biggest hypocritical town ever. How does this fit into the general plan? Why isn’t this two-story bocce ball with commercial underneath?

What a waste. No parking, old people crossing the street late at night in the dark, and now all the drunks will wander down from the Clayton club to want to play and hop the fence.

Don't Worry Milla....... March 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Teens will have a Bocce App for their IPODs, they can sit around in anti-social zombie-like trances pecking away at their little gizmos while their brains turn to mush

Milla March 13, 2014 at 8:38 PM

@33 lol 🙂

! Salute ! March 13, 2014 at 9:28 PM

I have absolutely no interest in these bocce courts, and I think it’s wonderful. Good clean fun, family friendly, get-your-drink-on friendly, what’s not to like? We lost the Singing Flag, but we gained bocce ball in Clayton. Life goes on.

Mimi (original) March 13, 2014 at 9:43 PM

This whole thing is so odd…when I moved to Clay cord in 1996 a so cal friend if mine said…”check out this sleepy little, out of the way town called “Clayton”. Turns out she hasn’t visited since 1977 and Clayton WAS a sleepy little town back then (I guess, I never saw it), she was SHOCKED when I told her how EXCLUSIVE Clayton had become. Burbim doing alright in Claycord thanks to the awesome friends and neighbors I’ve acquired over the years.

Dr. Jellyfinger® March 13, 2014 at 9:45 PM

I’m not even sure what Bocce Ball is…. thought maybe it was something to do with the SF Giants. Anyway, it sounds Italian so I guess I’d better support it or incur the wrath of the Mafia. Yay Bocce Ball!

Chuckie's Wife March 13, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Y’all hear that we’ll be checking IDs at Ygnacio and Treat and will turn back all citizens of Clayton? Let them build their own road to the freeway. Why should those uppity Claytonians cut though Concord and add their pollution to our city? Gotta keep them out. Besides, we already have bocce courts. Absolutely no need to go out into the sticks.

Jack inithard March 13, 2014 at 10:52 PM

Please keep Antioch and Pittsburg and Brentwood peasants away! Comcord only if bordering Clayton, no monument blvd trash!

C. Hartley March 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM

To answer a few, these courts are not being built where the church was going to build. If you are interested in playing send an email to this email address: and we’ll send you a registration form and answer your questions. Courts will not be for the sole use of Clayton residents. There will be times scheduled where they will be open to the public free play.

Eljay March 13, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Some of these comments are cracking me up. I live in Clayton and currently play Bocce in Pittsburg and Antioch, and I would say all the participants in those out of town leagues are great people…no riffraff at all. Though the tendency is elder participants, I’m by no means close to retirement ( I wish) and the sport itself is great for all ages.
The only reason I hope outsiders don’t flood in is for my own selfish reason, I hope I can get a spot in the league here in town. Otherwise, I would welcome them all… it should help the downtown businesses to have more faces around…local or non. Very excited by this.

JRConcord March 14, 2014 at 7:01 AM

I read somewhere that MS-13 was sponsoring a Bocce ball team. The crystal meth ranch mob was going to start an inter- gang bocce ball league.
Body armor optional. 9mm ammunition will be provided along with punch and cookies.

Anonymous March 14, 2014 at 7:03 AM


M March 14, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Check ID?!?! You do realize it’s Clayton and NOT Alamo, right? Why don’t you just live at the country club 24/7 and then you won’t have to see “riff raff”. Arrogant, judgmental snobs like YOU are the problem… Not your so called “riff raff”

Boneguy1 March 14, 2014 at 10:01 AM

I see there needed to be clarification here. Per C Hartley the property is not where the Church was to be.

No, Clayton’s Downtown property is too valuable to allow a Church to build on property they actually had owned and would have added to the available parking. But its OK to use the real estate for Bocce courts and for Ipsen to not provide his share of Downtown Parking.

(Note that one of these Uses is supposed to be Constitutionally protected the others is not. )

Our leaders and the good’ol boys of Clayton are just a bunch of fascist hypocrites.

C. Hartley March 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM

In regards to Newhall Park, the Clayton bocce league, which was formed by my husband and I, paid the Concord league for the use of the courts on Sundays. We formed the league to show the city of Clayton that there was an interest in bocce so that hopefully courts could be built in Clayton. This was 14 years ago. There is no age restriction in playing bocce. As long as they are able to understand the rules they are able to play. It is true that the average age of a bocce players is 50+ but there have been some teens play as well with their family. The reason that bocce courts has had an overwhelming approval is because it will bring the much-needed foot traffic to downtown Clayton to patronize the businesses there. There will be public sign up dates for anybody that wants to play or form a team. You can get that information by emailing us. Registration will be excepted on a first-come first served basis.

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