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Valdosta’s Pickleball Boom: 1.8 Mn Dollar Investment Pays Off

Valdosta’s Pickleball Boom: Pickleball and its business are rising rapidly, attracting a growing number of investors. This sport, once considered a niche pastime, has become a major draw for both players and businesses alike. The construction of new courts, like those in Valdosta’s McKey Park, not only boosts local sports facilities but also stimulates the economy.

As tournaments and regular play bring in visitors, local restaurants, hotels, and retail businesses are reaping the benefits, making pickleball a game-changer for community growth and economic development.

Valdosta has thrown its hat into the pickleball ring with a $1.8 million investment in new courts at McKey Park. This move is set to transform local sports facilities and boost the economy, thanks to the rising popularity of this dynamic sport.

A Community Game-Changer

Picklers are good people, and we have a great following,” one enthusiast remarked. For those frequenting McKey Park, players like Becky Crosby are a familiar sight, showcasing the sport’s vibrant community. Becky’s journey into pickleball started seven years ago, on the advice of her eye doctor. She quickly fell in love with the game and has been a driving force in its growth locally.

Becky had trouble getting four people together initially, so Becky invited some of her tennis friends to play, and the interest in the sport grew exponentially. “We love it,” she recalled. This passion inspired Becky and others to lobby for the construction of dedicated pickleball courts, a dream that was realized in Jun

“We had trouble getting four people… So I got some of my tennis friends to play, and it just grew and grew and grew. We love it.” -( Becky Crosby )

Economic Ripples

The new courts are more than just a sporting venue. According to Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) PR Director Jessica Catlett, these courts bring significant economic benefits. Catlett explained  that it’s not just about camaraderie and physical activity, people come from surrounding areas to play, which puts people in restaurants and hotels, and they end up spending their money here.

Future Prospects

The city’s $1.8 million investment is set to pay off with the upcoming opening of South Georgia’s first indoor pickleball facility in mid-August, run by Winnersville Pickleball. This addition underscores the sport’s explosive growth in Valdosta and promises to further cement its place in the community.

Tournaments and Economic Impact

Sports tournaments in Valdosta have already proven lucrative, generating a total economic impact of $7.6 million in 2023. On weekends, tournaments can bring in as much as $150,000.

With the addition of the new courts and the upcoming indoor facility, the future looks bright for pickleball in Valdosta. The city’s investment is expected to yield significant returns, both in terms of community engagement and economic benefits.

Valdosta Growing Economically with pickleball

News in Brief: Valdosta’s Pickleball Boom

Pickleball’s rapid rise in Valdosta is attracting investors and boosting the local economy. The city invested $1.8 million in new courts at McKey Park, transforming local sports facilities and stimulating economic growth. Enthusiasts like Becky Crosby have driven the sport’s popularity, leading to increased community participation. Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) notes that these courts draw visitors who spend money at local businesses. With South Georgia’s first indoor pickleball facility opening soon, the sport’s growth continues. Tournaments already contribute significantly, with a $7.6 million economic impact in 2023, promising substantial future returns

ALSO READ: New Pickleball Courts Set to Shine on June 10



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