Magnificent Covered Pickleball Facility Opens Up in Alabama
The Opelika Sportsplex in Alabama is a $32 million facility that includes 12 covered pickleball courts, each fenced for tournament play.
As Director of Parks and Recreation for Opelika, Sam Bailey would regularly hear from pickleball enthusiast Bob Huskey about the need for additional courts in the area to handle the increased interest in the sport. The conversations began 11 years ago and for the next eight years or so, the City of Opelika was unwilling to begin construction on new courts. But, as the game continued to grow in popularity, the City soon realized a new covered facility made good economic sense.
Thanks to Bailey’s persistence, construction began over a year ago by ClearSpan Structures and today Opelika has a one-of-a-kind pickleball facility. “When the idea of a covered facility was talked about with our City Manager, I was asked by him if by covering the courts we would have something that would set us apart. I told him that we would be at the forefront of facilities if we had a covered facility. He looked at me and said build it,” said Bailey.
Total project cost was $650,000 and today the courts in Opelika are experiencing steady play with numerous players coming in from out of town. Restrooms, lockers, showers, pool, concessions, etc. are also available at the Sportsplex. “The city of Opelika has always been strong supporters of recreation and by building this facility they have continued that tradition. Opelika certainly has a pickleball facility to be proud of and we hope to show it off in future tournaments and events,” added Bailey.