Hillsborough County Park is Investing $2.77M in Pickleball Courts

Hillsborough invests in pickleball courts

Hillsborough County plans to expand its pickleball programs at other parks in the coming years.

Pickleball, a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, is predicted to have 4.2 million participants in the United States by 2020, according to the Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department. Despite its reputation as a sport for retirees, the county reports that the average age of all players is 38 years old.

Currently, the county has 14 pickleball courts and 18 dual-striped courts that may be utilized for either tennis or pickleball.

This is all about to change. This Thursday, the county announced plans to build 46 new courts in 11 different locations.

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“It’s catching on with people of all ages.” “There is obviously a demand for it,” said Commissioner Stacy White, who fought for the expansion.

Over the next two years, the county plans to install four pickleball courts at Branchton Park and two at Town n’ Country Park. In addition, the county will build two dual-stripped courts in Villa Rosa Park and Chandler Park.

The funding for those projects has already been budgeted. Similarly, the county announced that park impact fees will be used to pay for a $900,000 improvement at Saladino Park, which will include two pickleball courts and other new amenities.

In addition, the county proposed spending less than $2.8 million to add 34 courts to Higgenbotham, Progress Village, Springhead, Westwood Lake, and Balm parks, as well as the North Lakes Sports Complex.

Some of the projects will be brand new, while others will see existing tennis or basketball courts transformed to pickleball courts.

According to Rick Valdez, director of parks and recreation, the eight-court extension at North Lakes, when combined with the existing eight courts, will offer the county a venue for large-scale pickleball events.

The $2.77 million funding proposal will be included in the proposed fiscal year budget for 2023.

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