A pickleball player holds a paddle and a ball.

Fairfield to Host National Pickleball Tournament

Last week, the Fairfield City Council approved a city-sponsored, national pickleball tournament to be held at Allen Witt Park this September. The four-day tournament will be in partnership with the Fairfield Pickleball Club. It will take place September 4-8, 2024 and this is the first time this event has come to Fairfield.

You can watch the two-hour City Council meeting here or keep reading for a summary.

To facilitate the best conditions for the tournament, the Fairfield Pickleball Club requested improvements to the pickleball courts. The Fairfield Pickleball Club asked that “double mesh” fencing be installed on the chain-link fences surrounding the courts.

Technically, approval of the event is costing the City of Fairfield $17,070. But in reality, the city is simply waiving the fees associated with renting all of the pickleball courts for four days.

But somehow, the fence improvements are expected to cost $60,000. I don’t know exactly how much fencing is included in this, but the City of Fairfield reports a cost of $750 per new post and additional mesh material costs.

That’s an expensive fence.

City Manager David Gassaway joked with the Council, saying, “They point out, and this was a little bit of news, but they point out that, on occasion, there is wind in Fairfield.”

Mayor Catherine Moys jokingly responded “That’s false news!”

Gassaway explained the Fairfield Pickleball Club requested double-netting on the fences. However, this wasn’t feasible with the current posts. A consultant recommended secondary fence posts be installed on “every other post” which would allow the double-wind barrier to be installed.

The Fairfield Pickleball Club’s President, Derek Bromstead, spoke and explained his club had about 200 members and was formed last year.

The tournament in Fairfield would be one of five National Pickleball Club tournaments held throughout the country.

A Regional Director of USA Pickleball, George Kennedy of Fairfield, said the event will be the “Select Wine Country Open.”

Kennedy said “We want to showcase Fairfield and our wine country. And by doing that, we’re anticipating people make a weekend of it and make a mini-vacation. It’s an amazing opportunity to continue growing pickleball in our area. Most importantly, I’m proud of our city and I want to show it off.”

Both public speakers and a fellow councilmember recognized City Councilmember Scott Tonnesen as a “driving force” behind supporting such an event.

An unusual component of this piece is the Fairfield Pickleball Club is agreeing to do a fundraiser and is willing to contribute the funds to the project.

Allen Witt Park is located at: 1741 W Texas St, Fairfield, CA 94533

The recommendation to sponsor the post and complete repairs to the fences was approved unanimously by the Fairfield City Council.

So, it looks like Fairfield is going to be on the map in the pickleball world.