GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG)– The 12-court pickleball facility at Gulf Shores Sportsplex officially opened to the public Thursday.

Gulf Shores city leaders broke ground on the new 12-court facility in June.

Tim Wallace has been a snowbird Gulf Shores resident for four years now and is excited that their is accessibility to pickleball courts in Baldwin County.

“I like it, said Wallace. “There really is not too many around here that you can go play and now we got them.”

Laura Fillmore, a Gulf Shores Resident, has been an avid pickleball player for almost five years and she is excited to get outside and play the game she loves. 

“Man, I love it,” said Fillmore. “It’s better than playing inside the gym.”

The brand new courts are open 24/7 to the public with lights for people wanting to play during the night time.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and local leaders are proud it has landed in their city.

City of Gulf Shores official, Grant Brown, said this will bring a lot of sports tourism to Gulf Shores.

“I think there will be a lot of traveling people that already play pickleball that are looking for good places to vacation,” said Brown. “So we know that will be part of this in our community.”

Billy Reeves has called Gulf Shores home for more than 10 years and has played pickleball for 11 years. He encourages everyone to get out onto the brand-new courts. 

“There is a level for everybody,” said Reeves. “You could be one of the worst players in a certain group, but in the next group, you might be one of the best, so it’s a game that gives everybody a challenge and an opportunity to compete.”

Players must bring their own equipment.