Three SMPA directors are testifying via Zoom before the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday February 6th in support of the State Sport special license plate bill. Joining them are Nancy Purcell, president of the Mukilteo Everett Pickleball Club, Rose Jones of Pickleball Playground in Spokane, and Pablo Granados, who is representing the Marysville Pickleball Assn, the Lake Stevens Pickleball Assn and the Snoco County Pickleball Assn. Pablo Granados is also the executive director of DUPR in Washington State. We are excited to have them join us in presenting compelling arguments in support of the first pickleball license plate in the U.S. The hearing begins at 4 pm. Five items are on the committee agenda. The scheduled start time for SB5333 is just after 5 pm, with live video feed provided by the legislature on TVW.
The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association serves the Seattle Metro area, a population base of 3.5 million people within Seattle, King County and portions of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. The board members are unpaid volunteers committed to developing the sport and pickleball facilities not just in the Seattle Metro area but throughout the state. The SMPA is working with the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office on a large statewide grant program for athletic facilities. SMPA is working to make pickleball an official school sport in Washington through its sponsorship of pickleball leagues in schools.
Pickleball continues to grow at an accelerated rate. In 2023 the Association of Pickleball Players released a YouGov report stating that 36.5 million adult Americans played pickleball in 2022, 10 million more than tennis participation, which per the United States Tennis Association is 23.6 million. The SMPA is working hard to find solutions to meet the increasing demand for pickleball courts, including being the non-profit sponsor of this bill.
Proceeds from State Sport license plate sales are to be used solely for the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts and are available to be used throughout Washington. The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association is happy to partner with any Washington parks and recreation department, city or municipality which has fast-tracked the construction and maintenance of dedicated pickleball courts.
The presence of pickleball plates on vehicles will increase awareness of the state sport. The license plates will be roaming advertisements for pickleball, leading to opportunities for education about the state sport as well as more pickleball courts throughout Washington. Most importantly, it will allow pickleball players to proudly display their love for the state sport.
You can help make an impact by supporting the bill. Fill out the electronic form here. Your support will be submitted directly to the Senate committee on the day of the hearing.
Please join us in the effort to pass the bill by indicating your support today!