Pickleball courts expected to bring other benefits to Valdosta

Pickleball has grown rapidly in Valdosta. South Georgia’s first indoor pickleball facility is set to open mid-August in Valdosta. Valdosta invested $1.8 million in new pickleball courts at McKey Park, boosting local sports facilities. Watch the video to hear from neighborhood picklers about the impact it’s had in Valdosta.


A $1.8 million investment is giving Valdosta neighbors a new option for pickle ball.

“Picklers are good people, and we have a great following.”

I’m Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.

I’ve got an inside look at the economic impact these new courts can have on our community.

If you’ve spent any time on McKey Park’s new pickle ball courts, you’ve seen Becky Crosby dominating the courts.

“It’s just a great group: social, mental, physical. It’s just really good for people.”

Becky took up the sport seven years ago at the urging of her eye doctor and fell in love with it.

“We had trouble getting four people… So I got some of my tennis friends to play, and it just grew and grew and grew. We love it.”

The group then lobbied for Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation to build pickleball courts at McKey Park, finally getting their wish back in June.

“I started going to VLPRA meetings, and I went to city council meetings, and the VLPRA found the money through the city to build these beautiful courts.”

Becky is one of over 36.5 million people across the country to pick up the sport.

The city of Valdosta invested nearly $2 million for the McKey Park courts, and the sport has become so popular that a private group, Winnersville Pickleball, will be opening South Georgia’s first indoor facility come mid-August.

“There’s no group in Valdosta more enthusiastic than the pickle ballers.”

VLPRA’s PR director Jessica Catlett tells me camaraderie and physical activity aren’t pickleball’s only benefits, as people in surrounding comes come to play, which…

“puts people in restaurants, and hotels and they end up coming here and spending their money.”

Sports tournaments in Valdosta saw a total economic impact of $7.6 million in 2023.

According to the city, tournaments can bring in up to $150,000 during weekends. In Valdosta, I’m Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.

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