Demand soars for pickleball courts

A group of pickleball players urged the Alexandria City Council to build more courts.

Pat Dahlhiemer (left) hits the ball across the net to Lynne Bowman Bolles during a pickleball clinic conducted by staff from the Alexandria Senior Center last week in the tennis court at Alexandria City Park. Organizers of the clinic hope to develop more interest in the game, which is a combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. (Lowell Anderson / Echo Press)

Pat Dahlhiemer (left) hits the ball across the net to Lynne Bowman Bolles during a pickleball clinic conducted by staff from the Alexandria Senior Center last week in the tennis court at Alexandria City Park. Organizers of the clinic hope to develop more interest in the game, which is a combination of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. (Lowell Anderson / Echo Press)

One of its members called pickleball “the fastest growing sport that no one has heard of.”

“Build it and they will come.”

That famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” is being used as a rallying cry for pickleball enthusiasts in Alexandria.

A group of pickleball players urged the Alexandria City Council Monday to transform the “outdated, seldom used, somewhat dangerous” tennis courts at Alexandria City Park into a pickleball area for everyone to use, including senior citizens.

The group includes more than 50 pickleball players, most of them senior citizens, who play indoors at the Lakes Area Recreation Center, where there is room for only three courts. Speaking on behalf of the group, Ed Porthan noted that pickleball courts are popping up around the state, including in Ely which averages 34 to 40 players on its four pickleball courts.

“We believe the existing tennis courts don’t add any appeal to City Park,” Porthan told the council. “We highly encourage you to do all you can to make this a reality.”

City Administrator Marty Schultz acknowledged that the tennis courts at City Park, which were built decades ago, are not in good condition. 

For full article, go to: Echo Press

Source, image(s), credits & more: Echo Press | Alan Edenloff