Citizens regularly request that their local leaders meet their needs for amenities and services. Like many major metropolitan areas, the citizens of greater Milwaukee are demanding places to play the hottest sport on the planet, pickleball.
There are many ways to go about drumming up support, and one needs to look no further than three Milwaukee suburbs as examples of how to go about making the local pickleball dream come true.
Lobby the Leadership – Southern Suburb’s Approach
To the South of the city, Greendale, Wisconsin, is well known for its charming downtown, fantastic schools, and excellent community center. In May 2022, citizens began letting local leaders know they would like pickleball courts to be included in the 2023 budget.
“Elected leaders in Greendale aren’t sour on pickleball, but they’re not ready to serve up funds to pay for new courts.” – The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel seems to believe that going the self-funded route in Greendale leaves leaders in this suburb wringing their hands over the decision.
The Greendale Board did leave itself some wiggle room to reconsider, given the demand.
Fundraise to Build New Courts – Northern Suburb’s Approach
Mequon and Thiensville, two communities to Milwaukee’s north, are known for their tranquil surroundings, high-end homes, and combined educational tradition, including parks and recreation. Their approach to new pickleball courts is to raise funds on their own privately.
Korjenek, a local USAPA Ambassador, is hoping to spearhead an effort that will result in $300,000 in donations to fund the construction of new courts. She plans to raise 50% of the funds from local businesses and the other 50% from private donations.
Donating $50,000 will result in a court being named after you.
Approved Capital Investment – Done Deal in Western Suburbs
In a city of Brookfield Press Release, they state, “The Parks and Recreation Commission has recommended and the Common Council has approved funding in the Capital Improvement Budget for the development of the Pickleball Courts at Krueger Park.”
This affluent, close-knit community in the western suburbs, with a thriving business scene and an excellent reputation for raising a family, has all but gotten the final green light to add to their parks.
Surrounded By Pickleball Development
For those less familiar with Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there are no suburbs to the east, but as you can see by looking around the other directions that are not Lake Michigan, there is an appetite all around this underrated city for the sport of pickleball.
We’ve focused on the suburbs thus far, but the city itself has not been shy to invest in pickleball courts either.
Downtown Milwaukee’s trendy Third Ward boasts pickleball courts underneath the freeway, and a redeveloped mall in the heart of the downtown scene has pickleball courts where shoppers once roamed.
One can assume that most major metropolitan areas are also bustling with activity and demand for additional courts. Let’s think about this scene playing out in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Sacramento, Des Moines, Oklahoma City, and the list goes on and on.
It’s not just the major metro areas looking to provide pickleball courts. If the projections of 40 million players by 2030 are correct, these citizen requests for new courts will only continue to grow, and so will the need to fund them, inside and outside of major cities.
It is fun to think of a future state where outdoor and indoor facilities abound, and people will be playing wherever they live and go. For those who crave pickleball 24/7, this growth and future state almost seem like something out of a Walt Disney movie. A dream come true.
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