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Jacksonville, FL (October 14th, 2017) The Grand Opening of the new $1.5 million Tennis facility was opened as the new pickleball courts were in full use with more players awaiting their turn. Located at the 9A/Baymeadows Regional Park, 8000 Baymeadows Road East, District 11 City Council Member Danny Becton was on hand to wipe the rust off his tennis racquet and dedicate the new facility.

After thanking the committee of racquet sport enthusiasts and those who helped within the community plan the best facility possible, CM Becton opened the courts not with a traditional ribbon cutting but instead with a ceremonial “first serve.” It included the Council Member, Parks and Recreation Director Daryl Joseph and the several Advisory Committee members setting serve on one of the new clay tennis courts.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing racquet sports. It involves two or four players playing on a court similar to a small tennis court with shorter nets and rules that include an area called “the kitchen”. Instead of the traditional tennis ball, players hit a hard whiffle ball with large paddles. The action is fast paced and provides plenty of exercise without as much strain on the legs and knees. These are the city’s first public pickleball facilities with 4 courts.

The new tennis complex also has 6 state-of-art clay tennis courts and one hard court with a pro shop that includes separate bathrooms and shower facilities for men and women. Because the clay courts needs more maintenance, they are closed from noon to 3 p.m. daily. To prevent damage, only flat-soled tennis shoes are allowed on the clay courts and proper tennis attire is required.

Annual passes can be purchased at various rates. Family passes are $175, adults (18 and over) are $100, junior memberships are $24, and seniors (60 and over) are $75. Single play rates on the clay courts cost $2.50 per player for 90 minutes of court time. It’s free to play on the asphalt court and pickleball courts. However, reservations are recommended.

Lessons are available by emailing Harold Thomas at [email protected] and range in price from $10 to $20 depending on the student’s age. Group rates are also available. To inquire about memberships or reserve a playing time call (904) 891-9840.

As interest is shown, leagues will be created and encouraged for all ages. Please let the pro shop know of your interest.

Council Member Becton’s remarks are as follows:

“I want to welcome everyone here this morning to the GRAND OPENING of the 9A Regional Park Tennis Complex. Well over 10 years ago, this Park opened with an eye to becoming the gem of the Southeast Quadrant of our city. A place where residents young and old can enjoy its amenities, adding to the Quality of Life in this area. For many years, this Park’s future was stagnate as big plans for its expansion were placed on hold.

Today, marks a major milestone in the park’s development. In 2015, the Curry administration along with my City Council colleagues appropriated the funding necessary to continue the big plans that were envisioned when the park originally opened, what we refer to as Phase III.

Two projects where authorized, first, the refurbishment of the outdoor multi-use fields. A new irrigation system, a leveled playing surface with all new sod has been laid to create a safe environment for our youth to play. I would also like to say a special thank you to the NFL Jaguar’s Foundation for its matching grant of $100,000 that allowed this to happen. Second, is this beautiful Tennis Complex that we celebrate today! 6 State-of-the-Art Clay Courts, 1 Tennis Hard Court and for the first city venue of its kind within Jacksonville, 4 public Pickleball courts.

A growing sport for all ages!

Of these upgrades and expansion of amenities, there were many people involved that I would like to say Thank You. It is because of their efforts, we stand here today in celebration….

Previous Council members Art Graham and especially Bill Gulliford, former City Council Members of District 13 for handing this area over to me in the creation of New District 11.

All of the 9A Baymeadow’s Park Advisory Board Members.

Director of Parks, Mr. Daryl Joseph and his entire team within the COJ Parks and Recreation.

The General Contractor(s) on the project: Hanson Professional Services and Hager Construction Company.

And lastly, the 9A/Baymeadows staff here headed by our Tennis Pro Mr. Harrell Thomas who I know is excited about what will be a truly wonderful experience for all the residents who will use this facility for years to come.

So, in closing, I want to thank everyone for all the efforts and hard-work that helped see this project through to completion.”

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