GRE breaks ground on The Courts

Randy Winegard, of the Winegard Foundation, and Dr. Michael Ash, President of Southeastern Community College, and the Greater Burlington Area Sports Facilities were part of remarks made Wednesday at the groundbreaking of The Courts in Burlington. Courtesy photo.

New sports facility is just part of group’s plans for 2023

BURLINGTON – The Courts, a long-awaited indoor basketball, volleyball and pickleball court facility, celebrated a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday morning.

The ceremonial ‘first dig’ followed brief comments by Dr. Michael Ash, President of Southeastern Community College; Matt Shinn, Director of City Hope of Burlington; and Randy Winegard, on behalf of the Winegard Foundation and Winegard Trust, all individuals and organizations who helped make the project possible.

The Courts were first conceived in 2011 after the ‘Imagine Campaign’ received more than 3,500 ideas on how to improve the Burlington area. In conjunction with the completion of the FunCity Turf in 2019, The Courts will be the second and final phase of the project aimed to increase sports tourism, health, fitness, and athletic activities in the area.

The Courts will be built in the southeast parking lot of FunCity Resort, between the Winegard building and east wing of the newly renovated FunCity Resort Hotel. Once complete, it will feature three collegiate-sized basketball courts and five pickleball courts, all indoors. Additionally, this space will be able to host volleyball games, racquet-sports, wrestling, events, and other community activities.

Leading the charge on fundraising and design is a group of community and business leaders from Great River Entertainment, Southeastern Community College, Winegard Company, the Greater Burlington Partnership, Great River Health Systems, and many others. Like the FunCity Turf, The Courts will be managed by the Greater Burlington Area Sports Facilities – a non-profit led by President of the Board Michael Ash, who also serves as the President of Southeastern Community College.

Other companies involved with the project are Studio 483, an architecture and design firm out of Davenport; Conceptual Designs Inc., a commercial interior design firm out of Bettendorf; and Build to Suit Inc., a construction company out of Bettendorf. Once complete, the Courts will be managed by Andrew Ryerson, who is the current general manager of the FunCity Turf.

To date The Courts project has raised $6.1 million and is tentatively scheduled to be completed May 2023. Prior to the opening of The Courts, FunCity plans to re-open Ballocity, a new indoor water feature, and the new Ninja Extreme course in early 2023.

In addition, a new Court Side activity space, featuring concessions, arcade games, video screens, and more – will also open in 2023.

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