PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Pensacola City Council heard and saw proposals Monday afternoon for a pickleball arena that could be built in the downtown area.
The plan is to bring pickleball and other sports to warehouse #4 at the Port of Pensacola. It would be called “Warehouse 4 Sports.” The plan would change the fence line of the port to allow this warehouse, which is close to the ferry landing, to be accessible to the public.
It can accommodate about 20 courts, indoor and outdoor, for pickleball or volleyball. Another proposal includes areas for basketball, tennis and indoor soccer. It will be open for anyone to play but the project’s main goal is to bring tournaments to the city.
“There are so many facilities that these families go to and they get there and it’s a giant parking lot and a giant building and there’s nothing to do the three hours in between the first game and the second game whereas here we have the ferry, we have downtown, we have restaurants,” Developer Rob Fabbro said.
This will be at least a $2 million private investment. The city council is expected to approve a lease as early as next month. Construction would likely start in late 2023.
Pickleball is a quickly growing sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
“This is a project that I think can be a game changer for Pensacola and a great amenity in downtown for local residents and to bring people here,” District 3 Councilman Casey Jones said.
The facility, if approved, will be open for day use, membership and tournament play. It would have a $28 million impact in the first six years, according to developers. It would also generate $253,000 in local taxes. It would also create more than 200 construction jobs and 15-20 part-time and full-time jobs once it’s complete.