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Garrett Coliseum Introduces 10 Indoor Pickleball courts

Garrett Coliseum Introduces 10 Indoor Pickleball courts: Garrett Coliseum officials announced a significant addition to the venue on Thursday: indoor pickleball courts set to debut in November. This new feature, part of ongoing modifications to the historic facility, will add to the growing popularity of the sport.

Facility Enhancements and Community Engagement

Coliseum General Manager Christi Thornton confirmed the order for the new playing surface, scheduled to arrive in October, with the indoor pickleball league slated to start after the Alabama National Fair. The venue will host 10 courts, available for both monthly memberships and daily walk-ins. Monthly members will also enjoy access to showers installed last summer as part of a broader upgrade for sporting events.

Workers are preparing the North side of the coliseum, between the offices and the concession stand, for the installation of a new elevator. This addition is crucial for ADA compliance and includes a food service elevator for the second-floor concession area.

Garrett Coliseum Introduces 10 Indoor Pickleball courts

Continuous Improvement Efforts

The Montgomery Exhibition Cooperative District, which operates the city-owned coliseum, has been diligently upgrading the 71-year-old facility over the past year. City Councilman Charles Jinright, a founding member of the cooperative district, emphasized the necessity of these changes.

Jinright said: “We just painted it,”, referring to the recently refreshed ceiling. “(The ceiling) was nasty. It had been that way for years and hadn’t been taken care. Most new big buildings don’t really have a ceiling any more, they just black it all out. And you don’t really notice it. The same thing happened out there.

“Now the elevator comes on. We’ll get the elevator done, then we’ve got two or three things that we’ll look at doing. We just have to figure out what goes next.”- (Jinright)

Future Plans and Aspirations

Looking ahead, Jinright highlighted the need for a new sound system and updated signage on Federal Drive. Despite these areas being dated, most facility bookers, like the SLE Rodeo. The next major project could be air conditioning, though its feasibility and return on investment are under scrutiny due to limited summer bookings. He also mentioned the allocation of $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds, which he redirected to the city with hopes of developing pickleball courts at Fain Park. The primary need for ARPA funds at the coliseum would be air conditioning, an investment estimated at $8-10 million.

Thornton, aiming  to make pickleball a year-round attraction with the possibility of hosting tournaments. “I am racking my brain for anything and everything to bring attention to this amazing facility,” she said. “We want this to be the gem of Montgomery.”

Garrett Coliseum Introduces 10 Indoor Pickleball courts
Garrett Coliseum: Built in 1951, Architects: Sherlock: Smith, and Adams

About Garrett Coliseum

The Garrett Coliseum, located in Montgomery, Alabama, is a versatile 12,500-seat arena that serves as the centerpiece of the Alabama Agricultural Center. Constructed in 1951, the coliseum was named after W.W. Garrett.

Garrett Coliseum has hosted a variety of events, including being the home to the Montgomery Maulers of the National Indoor Football League in 2005 and 2006. The arena boasts 8,500 permanent seats but can accommodate up to 10,500 attendees for end-stage shows and 12,500 for boxing, wrestling, and center-stage concerts.

The Garrett Coliseum Complex hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the official state horse show, the Alabama Open Horseman’s Association State Championship Horse Show, held annually on Labor Day Weekend. This extensive facility remains a central hub for community and entertainment activities in Montgomery.

News In Brief: Garrett Coliseum Introduces 10 Indoor Pickleball courts

Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Alabama, is expanding its offerings with the introduction of indoor pickleball courts set to open in November. This initiative is part of ongoing upgrades to the historic venue, catering to the sport’s growing popularity. The facility will feature 10 courts, accessible through monthly memberships or daily walk-ins, alongside new amenities like showers and an upcoming elevator for ADA compliance. Future plans include potential air conditioning upgrades, funded partly by redirected American Rescue Plan Act funds. The coliseum, built in 1951 and seating 12,500, remains a vital hub for community events and entertainment in Montgomery.

Also read: Indoor Pickleball Club at Newtown Shopping Center is Set to Open

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