With the ever-growing support for pickleball, State Senator Doris Turner has introduced legislation that would increase the number of pickleball courts in Springfield.
“We have seen a tremendous growth in the interest of pickleball over the past few years. To meet the needs of the sport, I’ve worked closely with the Springfield Pickleball Club to find the best way to accommodate players,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Adding additional courts to Centennial and Iles parks would bring an economic boost to Springfield. This would be instrumental for Springfield, pickleball players, businesses and our community.”
Pickleball has become the country’s fastest-growing sport. The Springfield Pickleball Club has 435 members and has averaged about 24% more new members each of the last three years. Currently, there are 15 pickleball courts in Springfield. Turner’s measure would increase the number of courts in Springfield to meet the growing demand.
Senate Bill 2599 would provide funding to add 14 new pickleball courts at Centennial Park in an undeveloped space and would include a new concrete slab with a six-foot walkway separating the courts. The measure would also fund the replacement of a 60-year-old concrete slab at Iles Park, which currently has eight courts, and add four courts to allow for more participation in an annual summer tournament.
“The Springfield area has experienced, perhaps, the largest percentage increase in the number of pickleball players. It now has an estimated 1,200 players,” said Jack Handy, president of the Springfield Pickleball Club. “With only 15 pickleball courts available for play, it has been increasingly difficult to avoid long waits for a court. The addition of 18 courts, as outlined in this bill, will meet the current demand for play space.”
Senate Bill 2599 awaits committee assignment in the Illinois State Senate.