Almost a year ago, pickleball aficionados in Maricopa learned they would at last realize their dream of having dedicated courts for their sport.
The City of Maricopa set aside more than $400,000 for six pickleball courts. This week, crews began construction next to the skate park at Copper Sky.
Ironically, Rocky Myers, the face of the drive for more pickleball, was not in town when the announcement was made in May. It took him and his fellow players by surprise.
“I was flabbergasted,” he said. “You could have picked me up off the pavement.”
No Pollyanna, however, he’s keeping his expectations grounded. He has been keeping a watchful eye on the process as the City prepares to follow through on the promise of the budget.
The plans are not everything he would like to see, like the ability to host state-level tournaments.
“I’m real excited to get the courts, but it’s disappointing,” he said. “We need at least 10 courts for a tournament.”
As planned, there is room for only six courts between the skate park and the tennis courts. Each court has a 44-by-20 feet playing area inside a fenced area of 64-by-34 feet, “to execute all possible shots” including around the post, Myers said.
He started his campaign for pickleball courts three years ago as the popularity of the sport become more apparent. Up to this point, the city tried to accommodate players by restriping basketball/volleyball courts inside the multigenerational complex and allowing players to use tennis courts, which Myers said was not ideal because of the different net dimensions.
The plans include a 10-foot-wide, covered walkway between courts to create shade for benches and a place to rest. The perimeter is expected to be an eight-foot chain link fence.