Playing Pickleball indoors – a good neighbor compromise


Andrea Molberg

SaddleBrooke Pickleball Association (SPA) is raising funds for indoor courts, so that all residents of both SaddleBrooke homeowners’ associations have more opportunities to play this extremely popular sport. Indoor courts will allow play during every kind of weather, contain noise and attract new buyers and renters. Many pickleball players moved to AZ for our great climate and prefer playing outside, yet having both indoor and outdoor courts is a wonderful option for meeting as many community needs as possible and keeping our active adult community desirable.

Pickleball is the largest club in our community and has clearly outgrown its six outdoor courts at Ridgeview built by SPA. This year already 74 potential members have enrolled for introductory lessons. Recognizing the popularity of this sport, SaddleBrooke TWO’s board has indicated that pickleball is a priority in its long-range planning. Pickleball is on the agenda for SaddleBrooke One’s next LRP meeting. Approximately 40 percent of the club members live in SaddleBrooke One, 60 percent in SaddleBrooke TWO. All courts are in SaddleBrooke TWO.

SPA needs to immediately address the court shortages, because the Preserve pickleball courts have been closed and August 31, 2018 marks the end of the reciprocal agreement allowing SaddleBrooke residents to play pickleball at SaddleBrooke Ranch. At transition SaddleBrooke TWO acquired the land adjacent to the Ridgeview Pickleball Courts as part of the golf course purchase. The temporary Ridgeview water and maintenance buildings are being removed, making way for more courts and more fun.

According to the SaddleBrooke TWO Board, Ridgeview is the best expansion option in the short term, because purchasing state land outside of SB is a lengthy, uncertain process and construction of additional courts at DesertView is not viable for three-five years due to cost and needed integration with the current building. DV courts are part of a larger renovation being considered long term as the number of players continues to grow.

In 2012, Ridgeview pickleball court construction was funded entirely by the club. Robson provided the land for the current courts, which transferred to SaddleBrooke TWO at transition, and 220 SPA members (nearly 100 percent of the membership then) contributed a total of $103,500 to build them. Contributions ranged from $125 to $10,000, with 36 percent being $1,000 or more. Today SPA has approximately 500 new members who were not part of those fundraising efforts. Both a donation and loan program have been established to raise funds, and sponsorships are being discussed.

You don’t have to be a SPA member to participate, and every penny counts. Contributing to court construction will benefit all of SaddleBrooke, keeping it a premier active adult community. According to Robson Communities, Inc. Vice President Jack Sarsam, pickleball has become so popular that one out of three buyers inquire about the sport.

As put it November 11, 2015, “When was the last time that a sport absolutely exploded off the charts because of an aging demographic that couldn’t get enough of it? Not before, and not until, pickleball.”