SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — More pickleball courts could be coming to Springfield by way of state legislation.
State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield) has introduced legislation in the Senate that would increase the number of pickleball courts in Springfield. The city currently has 15, and Turner’s bill would provide funding to more than double that number.
“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,” Turner said. “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.”
Turner said the Springfield Pickleball Club has 435 members and over each of the last three years, annual membership growth averaged 24%. But the number of pickleball players throughout the area is almost three times more, according to the Springfield Pickleball Club’s president.
“The Springfield area has experienced, perhaps, the largest percentage increase in the number of pickleball players. It now has an estimated 1,200 players,” President Jack Handy said. “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.”
Turner’s bill would provide funding to lay a new concrete slab in currently undeveloped space at Centennial Park; the slab would accommodate 14 courts. In addition, the bill would fund the replacement of a 60-year-old concrete slab at Iles Park that currently holds eight courts. The new slab will be large enough to hold 12 courts, a gain of four courts.
Turner’s bill has not been assigned to a committee yet.