Stevens Point seeking dedicated pickleball courts

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 8:45 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The City of Stevens Point is looking to build dedicated pickleball courts to better serve area pickleball enthusiasts.

It’s something that pickleball players have longed for, but the problem right now is finding a spot to put the courts.

The snapping sound of pickleball paddles is becoming more common nationwide. With continuous growth in Stevens Point, the Point Area Pickleball Association is looking to build courts devoted exclusively to pickleball.

“I just want to play more and I think what happens to a lot of people is they start pickleball and you get a little bit addicted,” Point Area Pickleball Association member Lynn Olstadt said.

Right now, Stevens Point only has multiuse courts, meaning folks can play both tennis and pickleball on them, but for pickleball players, it can make playing a bit of a challenge.

“I think what’s hard on these courts is it’s confusing, you’re like ‘Ooo what line did that hit and was it in, was it out?’ Because you have two sets of lines to keep track of,” Olstadt said.

Olstadt said the nets on multiuse courts are also set higher than a pickleball net and despite the large support for dedicated pickleball courts, finding a place to squeeze them in is the hard part.

“We’ve been trying to find a suitable location,” Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza said. “We need a fair amount of space and most of our parks already have a lot of uses and not a lot of space left that we want to develop.”

Wiza said the City of Stevens Point will donate the land if they can find a location, they’re looking at areas like Iverson Park, Bukolt Park, Mead Park, among others.

The project will likely cost several hundred thousand dollars, but with the wide range of people it’s attracted to, getting dedicated courts would be an ace.

“A lot of people want to play, it serves so many different people, you know there’s kids learning in school, and now they can play with their grandparents and then everybody in between so it just serves a lot of people” Olstadt said.

The Point Area Pickleball Association is beginning to raise money, they hope to build the courts as soon as possible.

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