City & VLPRA Break Ground On New Pickleball Facility

Officials from the City of Valdosta and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority turned over the first soil today at a groundbreaking ceremony for new pickleball courts at McKey Park.

Representatives from both agencies as well as Lowndes County, Lovell Engineering, and Quillian Powell Construction all used golden shovels to celebrate the groundbreaking for the 12-court facility.

The new pickleball center is a City of Valdosta SPLOST project that will include the 12 dedicated pickleball courts, restrooms, a picnic pavilion, and nearly 60 paved parking spots on the North Oak Street side of McKey Park. The courts will also have lights, provided by VLPRA funding.

“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and we are excited to provide these courts for our local pickleball community,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. “This center will improve our area’s quality of life while also boosting our local economy by being a destination for pickleball tournaments; a complete win-win.”

VLPRA has been working on pickleball court concepts for a few years. Chairwoman Suzan Garnett says McKey Park is the perfect place for this addition.

“Having the pickleball courts right next to the tennis center creates a full racket park that becomes a draw for people of all ages,” Garnett said. “There’s no age limit for pickleball, it doesn’t require much equipment, and the courts will be free for public use. This area will be a one-stop shop for families with racket sports, a playground, and beautiful outdoor space. We’re thrilled with the opportunities here for all of our residents.”

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.