Macon-Bibb County and Visit Macon are proud to announce the name of the world's largest indoor pickleball facility: Rhythm and Rally Sports and Events.
The state-of-the-art complex will feature 32 courts: 16 upstairs and 16 downstairs, with four pods of four courts on each level. The 150,000-square-foot pickleball facility will offer climate-controlled courts, day-use lockers, showers, and a Pro Shop, all in a clean and fun playing environment. Rhythm and Rally Sports and Events will provide an amazing game experience for local players while also attracting state, regional, and national tournaments.
To get updates and more information about the facility as it is announced, visit the new facility’s website at www.rhythmandrally.com and sign up for their email list.
“We began booking events in this new facility long before construction was complete,” said Gary Wheat, CEO of Visit Macon. “Macon continues to position itself as a premier tourism destination – which is evident by it being named one of the best destinations to visit in 2024 by Travel+Leisure Magazine. The sports (and especially pickleball) market is excited, and we look forward to attracting many new groups, events, and regional tournaments to this state-of-the-art sports complex with so many amenities! These events will contribute millions of dollars to the Macon economy.”
"We have a strong pickleball community here in Macon, one that is welcoming of all people, whether they are local and wanting to learn how to play or are visiting here for a tournament," said Mayor Lester Miller. “With Rhythm and Rally, I see that community growing even larger, stronger, and closer together, all while attracting larger tournaments. And that’s why I’m proud of who we’re working with to make sure it is an overwhelming success.”
Macon-Bibb and Visit Macon have selected The Sports Facilities Companies (SFC) to oversee management and operation of Rhythm and Rally. SFC is the industry leader in sports, recreation, and entertainment venue management, currently managing over 50 facilities in more than 20 states. The company’s mission is “to improve the health and economic vitality of the communities we serve,” and it is committed to providing the highest quality of service.
In collaboration with Macon-Bibb and Visit Macon, SFC led an extensive branding, naming, and logo creation process for Rhythm and Rally, utilizing its deep-rooted expertise to carefully curate a brand identity that resonates with the spirit of the sport, the community, and the facility's future patrons. The subsequent logo creation process was meticulously executed, with designs embodying Macon’s energy, excitement, and community aspect toward pickleball. Every element, from color scheme to typography, has been analyzed and selected to ensure it aligns with the vision for Rhythm and Rally Sports and Events. This comprehensive process demonstrates SFC’s commitment to creating a brand that stands out in the sports industry and excites both pickleball enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
"As the fastest growing sport in America, pickleball facilities are in high demand everywhere,” said SFC VP of Venue Management Patrick O’Brien. “Macon-Bibb and Visit Macon have done a tremendous job transforming the venue into a world-class pickleball facility. We are confident that Rhythm and Rally Sports and Events will bring significant economic impact to the community, attracting visitors from far and wide. We will also leverage the Rhythm and Rally to bring the local community together through pickleball and other events that we will host."
“With SFC, we are bringing in a group with success working with facilities all over the country, and they understand how to maximize each’s potential,” says Mayor Miller. “By having their connections with different sports and types of events, I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring to us here.”
“Sports Facilities expertise in the space of, not only facility management, but event management was an easy decision for us,” adds Wheat. “It is a leg up on the competition of attracting large planners and promoters to Macon, Georgia, when the management team is held in such acclaim in other destinations. We look forward to exceeding the expectations of these visitors!”
Following a national talent search, John Roberts – a Macon resident since 2007 – was selected as SFC’s General Manager at Rhythm and Rally Sports and Events. Highly accomplished with a wealth of operational experience, he served as the Director of Finance and Operations at Historic Macon after a 15-year tenure as the Senior Associate Commissioner for Operations and Chief Financial Officer at the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN). During his stint at the ASUN, Roberts successfully managed operations for all 21 championship sports of the league, oversaw the conference's awards, broadcast, and officiating programs, and handled the organization’s budget and human resources for staff. An avid pickleball enthusiast and USA Pickleball Ambassador, Roberts has been organizing tournaments across the southeastern United States since 2019.
“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to manage this world-class facility. I’m delighted to use my experience in athletics and help strengthen and grow pickleball here,” said Roberts. “I’m passionate about pickleball, and I know first-hand what it means to this community. This venue will help bring people from all over to Macon for tournaments, conventions, and many other events. I’m excited to have a key role in enhancing and revitalizing the Eisenhower Business Improvement District and helping Macon build a happier and healthier community.”
“In JR, we found someone with a love of both Macon-Bibb and pickleball, as well as a wealth of experiencing in managing large, national tournaments. His experience and passion will be at the core of the success of Rhythm and Rally,” says Mayor Miller.