BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Bristol, Tennessee City Council voted to approve a resolution awarding a bid and authorizing entry into an agreement for the construction of a new pickleball complex.
The Pickleball Complex will be located adjacent to the existing Bristol Sportsplex building.
BurWil Construction Inc. will be building the pickleball complex. They won the bid proposal for $2,737,000.
The city council also voted to purchase lighting for the pickleball courts from Musco Sports Lighting which will be installed by BurWil Construction.
Terry Napier, Bristol Tennessee’s Parks & Recreation Director said they began seeing crowds for pickleball in the area pre-COVID.
“The unique thing about pickleball is pickleball is very social,” Napier said. “It’s a very social sport. And that’s one of the reasons it’s on the rise is because there’s the court action, but there’s also if you go to our courts now, you will see the social aspects.”
The new pickleball complex will include 13 courts. 12 will be standard courts and one will be a competition level court.
The plans also include a pavilion with restrooms, an office and a covered space. Two parking areas, new fencing, landscaping and site prep are also included in the project. Each court will have lighting as well.
The Bristol Sportsplex already has indoor pickleball courts which will be accessible from the outdoor complex.
“By partnering with the Sportsplex, they’re actually making a significant investment in their building as well to do some outdoor amenities,” Napier said. “So, we’ll have the best of both worlds. We’ll have our 13-court facility. You’ll be able to walk through the gate into the Sportsplex.”
Napier says that the partnership with the Bristol Sportsplex helps open doors for large tournaments.
“If we can take that from a regional concept to a national concept then we have a national tournament, a national televised tournament, that brings more people to our community,” Napier said. “And the more we do that, the more our community grows and helps pay for things like pickleball courts.”
Napier said a groundbreaking will be announced soon. He said a tournament is already scheduled for mid-summer of 2024.
“We hope to be playing pickleball early summer,” Napier said. “It’s a little early, we’ve got to get on the site and see what we’ve got. But hopefully quick, it takes a while to build things.”