Fridley’s Madsen Park will be getting a makeover now that the city won the Minnesota Timberwolves and U.S. Bank’s “Our Courts. Our Future.” competition in late May.
After being selected as a finalist in the Twin Cities region, voting was open for three weeks for residents to vote for Fridley to win against St. Paul and Richfield. The city launched a voting campaign right away, said Luke Cardona, the marketing and communications manager for the city.
“This is the first time in a long time where we’ve seen the city really light a fire over something and say, ‘Hey, this is cool. We want this. We want the Timberwolves to bring us a new basketball court,’” he said.
Cardona was inspired to apply for a new court because he wanted to put Fridley on the map and he thought it would be a great opportunity for the community to get a revamped basketball court.
“Madsen Park is one of those courts that definitely needs some restoration,” he said, noting the court’s need for new hoops and evidence of current chips in the pavement.
Throughout the voting process, Cardona could track the number of votes, and he said it was a close race against St. Paul and Richfield.
While Cardona was excited to pull off the win against larger cities, he said he was happier for the community to be rewarded for voting every day or nearly every day with a new basketball court.
“There’s a lot of people that are happy to be seeing this happening, knowing their votes counted,” he said.
One of those community members who voted every chance they had was Mayor Scott Lund.
The mayor said he is grateful that the Timberwolves have the “Our Courts. Our Future.” contest so Fridley can upgrade one of their parks.
“It will be heavily used, I can guarantee that, and it’s an added benefit to one of our parks, which we greatly appreciate,” Lund said. “We’re so fortunate and so proud of our Fridley residents and everyone that voted for this to happen.”
The city and the Timberwolves will host a ribbon cutting celebration from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 in Madsen Park to unveil the new basketball court to the city. There will be a basketball clinic for kids — which requires pre-registration that will be available online prior to the ceremony — as well as refreshments and remarks from the Timberwolves, the city and U.S. Bank.