New Pickleball Courts Open in Salina

The fastest growing sport in America now has a home in Salina, as the Salina Parks and Recreation Department and Salina Area Chamber of Commerce held the official ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Pickleball facility in Oakdale Park Thursday.

Jeff Hammond, Director of Salina Parks and Recreation addressed a crowd just outside of the new facility, highlighting the work put in by multiple organizations, which allowed the opening of the new, near $500,000 set of courts.

“This project was born from a generous group of donors, a group of individuals who sought to provide Pickleball to the community, in a natural setting in Oakdale park,” said Hammond. “The idea was that anybody would have access to them. Anybody can freely use them, and they can enjoy the sport of Pickleball. The group of individuals donated the full amount of the construction fo these courts, using Greater Salina Community Foundation funds.”

The new facility boasts 10 regulation Pickleball courts on the site of the former tennis complex at Oakdale park, just to the west of the Tony’s Pizza Event Center. Originally, the design of the new courts was set to be built on top of the already existing tennis courts, but after some additional planning, the plan pivoted to the ground-level layout that was constructed.

The project came together in just over a year, between the proposal, the design, the bidding process, and the construction, and now in that time frame, Salina boasts a higher number of available courts for both tennis and Pickleball than before, thanks to the addition of courts at Jerry Ivey Park, the newly opened Salina Tennis Center, and the freshly minted pickleball courts. The total court space now creates an opportunity that Hammond feels puts Salina at the top tier for recreational sports in the state.

“I think we’re putting ourselves in a better position for recreation, for competition, and making Salina a destination place where you can have a tournament played, you can have the community play at the same time, whether it be tennis or Pickleball,” said Hammond.

The facility creates yet another opportunity for members of the community to get out and get active, as well as an opportunity to bring people to Salina to compete and play their sport, and make an impact on the local economy.

“It’s really a true gift to the community,” said Hammond of the group effort put forth to make the new facility a reality. “And that was the groups’ intention, of providing it as a true gift to the community. I really appreciate them highly.”

The new Pickleball facility in Oakdale Park opened officially to public use.