Groups tour future indoor pickleball facility at Macon Mall

April 7, 2022

Published by eruiz

Last weekend, the USA Pickleball Georgia Ambassadors Retreat was held in Macon-Bibb, with 50 pickleball ambassadors gathering at the Tattnall Square Tennis and Pickleball Center and the Marriott City Center for a weekend of meetings, discussion, several games of pickleball, and a very special tour at the Macon Mall. 

 On Saturday, April 2, the Georgia Ambassadors were invited on a tour of what used to be Belk in the Macon Mall. Mayor Lester Miller, Urban Development Authority Executive Director Alex Morrison, and District 9 Commissioner Al Tillman led the picklers on a tour and shared plans for the development of a 32-court indoor pickleball facility. The facility will feature 16 lower-level and 16 upper-level concrete courts, a pro shop, tournament central, check in, and ample space to make a truly unique experience, making it one of the largest indoor pickleball facilities in the world.  

The Georgia Ambassadors were extremely impressed and thrilled with anticipation of the pickleball events that could be held in the venue. Several attendees wished they had the support and backing from their cities to do something similar in their area.  

Mayor Lester Miller is a true visionary. A venue of this type will be able to host major tournaments and other events. The proximity to the Atlanta airport is a big plus, the return on the investment will be noticed right away.  Thank you, Mayor Miller and Macon, for this venture and the opportunities the facility will offer to the pickleball world,” said Chuck Blackshear, Assistant Regional Director of USA Pickleball Ambassadors. 

 “I’m so excited for Macon-Bibb to be recognized as a leader in the pickleball world and to be moving forward on this amazing facility,” says Mayor Miller. “This will give more people the chance to play this fun and healthy sport, and it will bring people from all over the country to see our wonderful community.” 

 The creation of the indoor pickleball facility is part of the larger redevelopment and revitalization of the Macon Mall and surrounding area. In addition to this recreational facility, there will be the new 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, more restaurants and stores, and government offices. By attracting more people to the facility through a combination of a wide variety of services and opportunities, it will attract more private investment to the nearby area.   

 “We all have great memories of the Macon Mall from its heyday,” said Mayor Miller at the amphitheater’s groundbreaking. “With your help, with the offices we bring here, with the new retail we are talking about, and, most importantly for today, with this amphitheater, we will transform this entire area.” 

 This marks the second time the USA Pickleball Georgia Ambassadors Retreat was hosted in Macon-Bibb because of its central location in the state, downtown hotel with large meeting spaces, proximity to the Tattnall Square Tennis and Pickleball Center, and a wide variety of local downtown restaurants and entertainment. The retreat covers a range of topics on how to grow the game of pickleball in different localities. 

The Tattnall Square Tennis and Pickleball Center is touted as one of the best pickleball facilities in the state, and with 17 dedicated pickleball courts, it has been awarded the Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA) and the Georgia Pickleball Association’s State Championship two years running. The Center has also played host to several other high profile pickleball tournaments, bringing in thousands of picklers from around the east coast. Since its inception in December of 2019, the Macon Pickleball Association has a reach of more than 800 members, with President Paul Midkiff as an advocate for the massive growth of the sport in the county. 

 

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