Pickleball Venues Expand to Meet Growing Demand

As the sport of pickleball expands, the scale of its venues is following suit.

For context: A recent APP report estimated 36.5M adults played pickleball in 2022, up from 4.8M in 2021. More conservatively, the SFIA’s report put the number at 8.9M players.

Growing at least 85% YoY, its ascent is off the charts — and celebrities, pro leagues, equipment makers, and real estate developers are staking their claim.

The latest: Wilson signed on as the title sponsor of Swing Racquet + Paddle, a 45-acre “Sportstainment” development for tennis, pickleball, and padel.

Breaking ground in North Carolina this year, the space aims to introduce more players to the game, while Wilson plans to test new AR/VR gameplay experiences.

What it means: A hit among first-timers and pros alike, pickleball’s growth isn’t just good for business, it’s great for public health.

But, despite opening 130 new courts per month, demand for the sport is outstripping the supply of venues — so increasing access is a top priority.

  • YouFit Gyms partnered with pickleball matchmaking platform Break the Love to manage in-club booking, while Pickleheads added funding to develop the “OS for pickleball.”
  • Toss & Spin, provider of curated pickleball and tennis experiences, launched pickleball clubs for Shake Shack in Chicago and LA this year.
  • In March, the LA Galaxy will open a public multi-use recreational park on its stadium’s campus for 5v5 soccer, futsal, pickleball, and padel.

Not to be outdone, Life Time’s pickleball bet is panning out; the health club will host nine professional (MLP and PPA) tournaments this year while seeking to operate 1K permanent courts by the end of 2024.

Looking ahead: If 2022 was a big year for pickleball, all signs point to 2023—and its new venues—being even bigger.

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