State-of-the-Art Pickleball Courts Open at Cincinnati's Sawyer Point

The popular courts closed earlier this year to undergo a significant renovation.

click to enlarge Sawyer Point's pickleball courts - Photo: Cincinnati Parks
Photo: Cincinnati Parks
Sawyer Point's pickleball courts

Get ready to serve in style as Sawyer Point hosts the grand opening of its revamped pickleball and tennis courts.

The popular courts closed earlier this year to undergo a significant renovation to accommodate the city's burgeoning pickleball scene. And Cincinnati Parks is hosting a grand opening at 9 a.m. on Sept. 9, featuring a ribbon cutting and appearances by Mayor Aftab Pureval, city leaders, parks officials and Gary Lessis, the president of pickleball at Sawyer Point.

The complex — which now boasts 18 pickleball-only courts, three tennis courts and six overlayed courts — got a fresh paint job, "state-of-the-art" cushioned surfaces, ball barriers, new nets, LED lighting and updated bathrooms, says Cincinnati Parks.

The space can now officially provide 24 regulation pickleball courts, which is important for trying to snag national tournaments, says Cincinnati Parks. 

"In fact, according to the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) tour event in May 2023 alone would bring in $2-$3 million in economic impact to Cincinnati," media contact Rocky Mertz tells CityBeat.

Even without national visitors, the pickleball courts see plenty of action. According to data from Cincinnati Parks, "In 2021, there was an average of 51.8 players per session; to date in 2022, that number rose to 93.1 players per session."

The Sawyer Point pickleball courts are open to the public unless there's an event. A sign-up system is available when the courts are full.

Pickleball has been around since 1965, but it has lately become a phenomenon. Legend has it, the bored family of a Washington State congressman invented the game when they had access to a badminton court but no equipment, so instead they used ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball.

Sixty years later the low-impact sport has overtaken tennis courts everywhere. Played as singles or doubles, games are brief, so it’s a perfect fit for socializing.

The Sawyer Point pickleball courts are located at 815 East Pete Rose Way, Downtown.

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