In the 608: Pickleball courts coming soon to Platteville

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – While the pandemic sidelined a number of activities, pickleball continues its rapid growth. Some Platteville residents have been working to make the sport more accessible to the community.

You’ll find Mike Hefty many days playing pickleball at the Westview Tennis Courts in Platteville. Mike says he fell in love with the game right around the start of the pandemic.

“I’ve only been playing about a year and half, and I think I played every day last summer,” Mike said. “It was a great way during COVID to be out doing something.”

Right now, they have to play on a makeshift court consisting of a mobile net and chalked lines.

“It’s a combination of table tennis, badminton and tennis,” Mike explained. “It’s a passionate group once you start playing. There’s a lot of socializing. There’s a lot of laughing.”

Mike along with a group of others in the community have been working to bring pickleball courts to town. So far, with the help of non-profit Inspiring Community, INC. and the City of Platteville, they’ve been able to raise $330,000 for the project.

“We’re seeing that in Platteville now with the excitement, and people are telling us almost every day how excited they are for the pickleball courts to get here,” Mike added.

The city approved of eight pickleball courts to be built at Legion Field. They’re hoping to break ground in May with completion slated for later this summer.

Mike says he’s excited to have such an inclusive sport available to everyone with no barriers to entry. Pickleball is pretty cheap to get into as well, with paddles starting around $20 and balls are about $2.

“It is going to be accessible to everyone,” Mike said. “That was a big part of our project.”

The group is shy about $30,000 of their goal. Mike tells News 3 Now they have enough to build the courts, so the rest of the money is more for the finishing touches. Click here if you’d like to help.