The grand opening of the new pickleball courts in Madison’s Town Center witnessed a substantial turnout despite the brisk 40-degree weather at 8 o’clock yesterday morning.
Despite the unseasonably frigid Alabama temperatures, a group of avid pickleball players, including Trista Niemann, Darren Field, Penny Lamb, and Carrie Blair, were among the first to make use of the 12 newly inaugurated courts.
The official opening at 9 o’clock saw an enthusiastic gathering of over 100 pickleballers eager to experience the new facility.
In addition to a Round Robin pickleball mixer, the event featured food trucks, with Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream generously offering complimentary samples, as well as raffled prizes and pickleball skill games.
“We got there early to get some games in,” Niemann told The Madison Record. She also mentioned she took the morning off from work to partake in the games!
A Few Minor Adjustments
The opening was considered a triumph even though a few minor adjustments have yet to be made, for example, improving directional signage to access the facility on Graphic Way near Hexagon, affixing numbers to the courts, and securing the nets with straps.
This sentiment was echoed in a Facebook post by players Alice Yielding and Cathy Johnson, who mentioned the lights were successfully illuminated on Friday night, thanks to the diligent efforts of city employees throughout the day.
Mayor Paul Finley, Traci Gillespie (the economics and external affairs officer for the city of Madison), and City Administrator Steve Smith paid a visit to the facility to observe the grand opening. Mayor Finley posed for photographs with several players and appeared upbeat about the whole project.
David Bailey, the administrator of the well-frequented Madison City Picklers Facebook page, went to great lengths to share his enthusiasm in a social media post:
“What an amazing turnout for the grand opening of our new Town Madison Pickleball Courts,” he wrote.
“The 12 brand new courts that can support 48 players were packed to the rim with people waiting to get on to play.
“A big thank you for those that made this possible:
- Mayor (Paul) Finley and all those at City of Madison for having the foresight, working the deals, and finding the budget for this effort;
- Madison Parks and Recreation for the hard work in getting the new courts put together in a timely fashion;
- C&G Pickleball Academy for taking the lead on the event and bringing a semblance of order to the chaos. Had some great prizes and a very fun skills challenge;
- Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream and Yogurt
- Happi Pappi for being there and providing something good to eat;
- Our friends at Huntsville Pickleball Club for coming out and supporting as well;
- And last but definitely not least, each and every one of you, picklers, out there who just love and enjoy the game and the community that we are building, none of it would be possible without you.
“Hope you all had as much fun as I did. I look forward to catching you all out there.”
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