City: Planned pickleball courts beneficial for Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is getting ready to host the National Senior Games in the summer of 2019.

One of the sports in play, pickleball. City leaders say the creation of brand new pickleball courts in southeast Albuquerque played a big part in getting the games here.

More than 10,000 athletes will flood into Albuquerque in one of the biggest sporting events the city has ever hosted.

“I think that this project is one of the reasons we were able to get that,” Albuquerque city councilor Don Harris said.

In the next couple months the city will break ground on 18 new pickleball courts at the Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center.

Pickleball is a mix of tennis, ping pong and badminton and one of the fastest growing sports in the world, especially popular with seniors.

The Albuquerque Pickleball Club has nearly 500 members, who are looking forward to playing on courts specifically designed for their game.

“Right now we share tennis courts with tennis players and having dedicated courts will be really useful for us and we’re really looking forward to it,” Bob Ashmore, President of the Albuquerque Pickleball Club said.

“Oh we think it’s great. This is the first time they would actually be permanent pickleball courts, you don’t have to take your net out there,” Gary Rutherford, USAPA Ambassador said.

Some of the courts will be lit, so people can play at night.

“Having 18 permanent courts will allow us to hold a big tournament…and not have to run around every night and put tape down,” Ashmore said.

The hope is making this growing game a priority, will have visitors realize what else the city has to offer.

“Just phenomenal, because I love Albuquerque and I love the weather here and I think people are going to so impressed when they come here” Nancy Kane, P.E. Teacher said.

Harris says the new courts should be complete by spring.

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