WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council approved a sound study Tuesday to determine how loud the planned South Lakes Pickleball Complex will be and whether measures need to be taken to reduce noise.
Neighbors and pickleball players seem excited about the building, which would be the biggest city-built pickleball complex in Wichita. Sound studies are standard procedure before breaking ground on big projects, according to the City.
The sound of the plastic ball connecting with paddles is a welcome rhythm for lovers of the sport.
“It’s music to our ears,” said Ching Brubaker, USA Pickleball Ambassador for Wichita. “I love the sound of it. Whenever I hear it, I’m like, ‘Oh, pickleball!'”
However, the hollow tap could turn into a nuisance for people living across from the lot where the pickleball complex is being built.
“There’s already significant sound there from the soccer play,” said Jeff Blubaugh, the Wichita City Councilmember who represents District 4. “Throughout the United States, at the different pickleball facilities, they talk about the noise that it makes.”
After living in the neighborhood for 20 years, Don Bohanan wasn’t concerned about the additional noise.
“We’ve had soccer over there,” said Bohanan, referring to the existing soccer field in the area. “It’s like anything else. You get used to the sounds after a while. You just don’t notice them.”
Building a berm is one method the city council discussed to block out noise.
“We also talked about maybe we need to relocate some of the courts, so we really won’t know until we get that sound study back,” Blubaugh said.
Adding more courts will create opportunities for connection, according to players.
“I always recommend if people are moving to a new city, just go try pickleball because then you’ll have instant friends,” Brubaker said.
The facility is set to have 18 pickleball courts, making it large enough to host tournaments.