The Park District of Chicago has set an ambitious target of establishing 200 pickleball courts in parks across the city by the end of 2025. This announcement stands as yet another testament to the unprecedented growth and universal popularity of this all-conquering sport.
Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Rosa Escareño, alongside 29th Ward Alderman Chris Taliaferro and Austin community residents, have recently inaugurated newly refurbished tennis courts and introduced new pickleball courts at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Avenue.
These additions enhance recreational opportunities in the Austin community, providing fresh and improved resources to Chicago’s west side.
This initiative, known as “Pickleball Mania,” is the Park District’s response to the escalating popularity of the sport and the surging demand for courts citywide.
New And Revamped Courts
“These remarkable new and revamped courts offer Austin residents the best of both worlds,” stated Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño.
“While tennis has been a cherished local pastime, pickleball is swiftly gaining favor among nearby residents and nationwide. Now, both beloved sports can coexist in this historic park.
“We value the input from community stakeholders and eagerly anticipate furthering our efforts here in Austin, as well as in communities throughout the city, to ensure these resources are accessible and enjoyable.”
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Pack up your paddle and rackets, and head on over to the newly opened pickleball & tennis courts in Grant Park! @ChicagoParks & C3 Presents joined 4th Ward Alderman @lamontjrobinson & members of the Grant Park Advisory Council to cut the ribbon ✂️ for the 16 pickleball & 6 tennis courts in Chicago’s Front Yard, located at 900 S. Columbus Drive.
Four New Pickleball Courts
The project encompasses four newly refurbished tennis courts and four new pickleball courts situated on the west end of the park, at the southeast corner of Austin and Adams Boulevards.
The scope of work encompasses all preparatory tasks and finishes, such as excavation, grading, drainage work, court paving, surfacing, striping, new fencing, and other site amenities.
Additionally, new lighting has been installed to facilitate evening play during the fall and winter seasons when daylight hours are diminished.
The project adhered to the specifications set forth by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and the US Tennis Association (USTA).
A Recreational Outlet
“I am enthusiastic about the opportunities the Chicago Park District continues to offer our residents, particularly our young residents,” expressed Alderman Chris Taliaferro.
“Our new tennis and pickleball courts will provide a recreational outlet and promote physical well-being in the heart of Chicago’s west side, within the Austin community.”
Last year, the Park District introduced “Pickleball Mania,” a bold commitment to construct 50 new pickleball courts throughout the city by 2025, surpassing 100 in total, aligning Chicago with other cities across the nation and meeting the burgeoning demand for pickleball courts.
Surpassing Initial Expectations
A year later, the District announced that “Pickleball Mania” would far surpass initial expectations, on track to complete even more courts, bringing the total to 200 within the next two years.
Recently, the District unveiled a new complex in Grant Park featuring 16 pickleball and 6 tennis courts in the heart of downtown. Outdoor pickleball courts in Chicago are now accessible in 27 public parks and are underway at an additional 36 parks.
Click here for information on available pickleball courts in Chicago.
The Park District continues to seek community input in determining optimal locations for new pickleball courts. Park patrons can provide feedback at this link.
The City’s Chicago Recovery Plan (CRP) provides funding for the new pickleball courts, specifically designated for neighborhood park enhancements.
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