The Courts at Harmon Field opened to the public following a ribbon cutting ceremony in Salisbury on Tuesday, May 30.
The project, which started in October, revitalized Harmon Field by installing 12 lighted pickleball courts, two lighted basketball courts and a playground.
First opened in 1928 as a city park, Harmon Field was named after New York real estate developer and philanthropist William E. Harmon, who donated the funds for the project. Wicomico County and the City of Salisbury worked together to provide lights for the softball field there in 1951. Harmon Field relocated to its current spot in 1969.
“Today a new chapter in this long history will begin as The Courts at Harmon Field will once again make this location a hub recreational facility in Wicomico County,” said Wicomico County Executive Julie Giordano.
In addition to local play, The Courts at Harmon Field will provide an opportunity to generate economic impact through the County’s tourism and sports marketing division. “Players already come from surrounding states for the Spring Fling and Shore Showdown tournaments, and we expect to see even more events because of this wonderful facility,” said Giordano.
The County is already seeing that come to fruition, as USA Pickleball Sector Leader - East Heather Conger announced the association’s decision to host the USA Pickleball Mid-Atlantic Diamond Amateur Regional at The Courts at Harmon Field Sept. 6-10.
“USA Pickleball is very thankful for the vision and passion that you’re committing to the sport of pickleball,” said Conger. “We look forward to coming back in September and having a chance to see you all play.”
Representatives from the neighboring YMCA of the Chesapeake were also in attendance. The YMCA contributed $300,000 toward capital improvements at the park, and will collaborate on programming and provide access to their parking lot. “If everyone could see it, they wouldn’t call it vision. This type of project took vision,” said Robbie Gill, CEO of the YMCA of the Chesapeake. “This is a great example of when working together can make something bigger than we could do independently.” In the coming months, permanent shade structures and permanent restrooms will be added to the park.
The Courts at Harmon Field are located at 409 Church Hill Ave. in Salisbury.