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Owensboro Invests $1 Million For New Pickleball Complex

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By Jacob Jackson

The city of Owensboro, Kentucky has approved $1 million in funding to construct a new state-of-the-art pickleball facility at Ben Hawes Park. This was announced after the Owensboro City Commissioners voted to enter a partnership agreement with local pickleball association River City Pickleball on Tuesday, December 5th.

The new pickleball complex will feature 24 dedicated outdoor courts with lighting, a clubhouse, restrooms, and a concession stand. It aims to make Owensboro a premier Midwest pickleball destination by hosting tournaments and boosting pickleball participation among residents.

“We are thrilled by the City’s commitment to growing pickleball locally,” said John Smith, President of River City Pickleball. “This facility will allow us to introduce the sport to more people, provide public access to courts, and put Owensboro on the map for major tournaments.”

Courts for Power Hitters

The fast-growing sport of pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is played with paddles and plastic balls on badminton-sized courts with a lower net. Pickleball has surged in popularity across the U.S. in recent years due to its friendly learning curve for all ages and abilities.

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The $1 million funding will transform 12 tennis courts at Ben Hawes Park, located off Booth Field Road, into dedicated pickleball courts. The redesign plans also incorporate environmentally friendly features like LED lighting.

Owensboro Mayor Sarah Taylor said the new courts will provide health, recreation and social benefits to the community. “We aim to create active public spaces for our residents. This partnership uplifts existing park amenities and brings people together through sport.”

The facility is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2024 based on finalized construction plans. River City Pickleball will organize programming like lessons, leagues and tournaments once the complex opens its doors.

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Pickleball facility coming to Ben Hawes Park

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