With summer around the corner and pickleball growing in popularity, Cold Lake City Council is trying to find ways to accommodate the new sport.
“Administration has come up with several options for us to consider on where we want to put down lines,” explained Mayor Craig Copeland. “Ideally, we would like to see a dedicated outdoor pickleball court, but at this time the solution may be to paint pickleball lines onto one of our tennis courts.”
The city has put some money aside to revamp the tennis courts in their borders. The dual tennis courts in the North are being reconstructed as a new facility, while the tennis court in the South will be getting a new surface.
“Because the court in the South is built on top of a water reservoir, the weight of laying new asphalt became a potential issue,” said Copeland. “We asked a structural engineer to look into whether or not regular asphalt would work, and they were not comfortable with that much weight over the reservoir.”
To counter the weight issue, administration presented council with a lightweight, flexible modular tile, which is commonly used across North America for various sport courts.
With the popularity of pickleball on a steady increase in the community, concerns have been raised by enthusiasts who only have the Field House at the Cold Lake Energy Centre to play in. In current plans, there will be an outdoor multi-sport court that includes pickleball lines at Kinosoo Beach once construction is finished, and several indoor courts are available at the Energy Centre.
Administration presented some options to integrate pickleball lines on the outdoor tennis courts in the south Brady Heights area, as well as either installing a plexipave type surface – an artificial sports surface – on the outdoor rink(s) at an estimated cost of $50,000 each, or building a new outdoor pickleball facility at an estimated cost of $150,000.
“We thought the best option for now might be to paint lines on the outdoor tennis court in the South, as well as the regular tennis lines,” said Copeland. “This will give both user-groups a chance to get out there and play this summer, but we will take a look at the numbers before making any decisions.” The tennis courts in Cold Lake North would be finished as tennis courts.
Council will be making a final decision at a later council meeting, as all options had an impact on the budget set for the current year.