Warm up your letters to the editor and turn up the social media- we’ve got a bit of a pickle getting underway in the Capital City.

Let’s start the story with reporting from KFYR TV.
“The Bismarck City Commission Tuesday heard from the Park Board and community members about the need for a new facility in Bismarck. A study carried out for more than a year has pointed to a need for a new facility with indoor tennis and pickle ball courts, hockey rink, gymnastics room. The facility would contain many more amenities as well. It is estimated to cost a $108 million.
The park board proposed that 5-10% of the cost could be covered by private partnerships, and the rest could be covered by a half cent sales tax increase for the city. Commissioners voted to put the proposed tax increase on the June ballot. “

So with a quick bit of math, I’ve deducted that this puts Bismarck on the hook for at least 90 million dollars for the proposed pickle project. Of course, I’m the only person that’s calling it the pickle project- but it sounds kinda cute and will make for great snarky tweets. Now whether or not this proposal is warranted is solely left to the Bismarck voters- but I must know…what in the world is Pickleball? Shall we go to Wikipedia? We shall!

Pickleball is a paddleball sport (similar to a racquet sport) that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.[2] Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a Wiffle ball, over a net. I was still perplexed at how the pickle plays into the story…so I decided to read further-

The game started during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of Joel Pritchard, who later served in Congress and as lieutenant governor. He and two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, returned from golf and found their families bored one Saturday afternoon. They attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a Wiffle ball, lowered the badminton net, and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed.

Still no pickles! Voters will have to decide if the cost of this project is kosher or if we’d be best off simply pulling plywood off existing sheds. Pickleball is not simply a regional craze- it’s a worldwide sports phenomenon. I submit to you the governing world body of the sport: the International Federation of Pickleball! https://www.ifpickleball.org/

We came late to the party as soccer participation increased worldwide…maybe we’d be best served embracing the pickle sooner rather than later. See you in June at the pickle polls!

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