Ribbon cutting to be held Monday for 12 new pickleball courts in Town Madison
By Chris Welch
The timing seems perfect.
It’s Halloween on Tuesday and pickaballers are getting a big treat early – 12 new pickleball courts.
The City of Madison in coordination with the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Madison Parks & Recreation Department is hosting a ribbon cutting Monday at 1 p.m. to recognize the new pickleball courts at the recreation complex in the Town Madison district.
The courts are located near the Hexagon building, adjacent to the recent city-acquired Public Safety Annex Office, Building 23a. Use the address 23 Ludie Richard Drive, Madison AL 35758 for gps access to the nearby offices.
A grand opening celebration will take place Friday from 9 a.m.-noon at the courts and feature food trucks, open play along with a mixed doubles mixer, pickleball skill games, vendors, including free Handel’s Homemade ice cream, and raffled prizes.
“We are proud of our expanding Parks and Recreation programs, especially as Pickleball ranks as the fastest-growing sport nationally. Our residents can now enjoy 12 freshly resurfaced courts to broaden our sports complexes across the city,” Mayor Paul Finley said.
“The Pickleball courts in the Town Madison area adds another highlight to the district increasing tourism and visitors, helping our local business grow.”
The City of Madison purchased the property and converted the old tennis courts into pickleball ones. The city budget allotted $1 million for the project, including $541,535 toward the construction of the pickleball courts.
Finley said the remainder of the $1 million budgeted will go toward additional improvements besides the pickleball courts.
A covered pickleball facility is also in future plans but no details or timeline have been given. There are also future plans for a center court with stands for spectators.
Baseline Sports Construction of Chattanooga is the contractor for the project that converted the tennis courts to pickleball.
“It’s a recreational need,” Madison Parks & Recreation Director Kory Alfred said. “We did a recreational survey and pickleball was in the top five of desired projects from the citizens.”
Pickleball is now the fastest growing sport in the nation die the third year in a row, according to the Association of Pickelball Professionals, with over 48.3 million U.S. adults (19 percent of the adult population) that have played at least one game in the last 12 months. Madison’s Dublin Park has 16 pickleball courts, 12 that can be used for tennis and pickleball.