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Is This the Answer to the Demand for Pickleball Courts?

News Pickle4 Team 01-17-2024

Pickleball is popping up in some interesting places. With the boom of online shopping and anchor stores closing up shop, many shopping malls are finding it difficult to keep the customers rolling in. Across America malls are receiving the dreaded status of “dead mall” as storefronts become vacant and foot traffic lessens. Theaters and other event spaces are also facing the same challenge. 

On the other hand the growth of pickleball doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With these growing numbers in mind, the biggest threat to the growth of pickleball is the lack of pickleball courts to meet the demand to play. Research by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) revealed that over $900 million in construction costs and 25,000 courts are estimated to satisfy the demand for pickleball courts and supporting facilities. 

It seems that pickleball’s growing demand for courts and venues ready for a change are a match made in heaven. Empty or declining spaces looking to keep up with expenses and gain attention are capitalizing on the pickleball craze. Instead of hosting events intermittently, pickleball keeps players rolling in and profits steady. It also gives owners the opportunity to revitalize and transform the spaces, creating unique backdrops for pickleball players and spectators. 

Check out some of the locations that have gotten a pickleball makeover:

The Macon Mall in Macon, Georgia is now home to the newly opened Rhythm and Rally pickleball facility. The two story space features 150,000 square feet, 32 courts, day-use lockers, showers, and a pro shop. It’s grand opening on New Year’s day hosted over 400 players. 

  📸 Middle Georgia CEO

The ROC Dome in Henrietta, New York is another event space that has been reinvigorated by pickleball. The Dome is home to 12 courts and The ROC Dome Pickleball Club. LED lights were installed along the curved ceiling during the renovation. The space offers open play time, lessons, events and plans to host tournaments. 

 📸 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

The iconic waterfront Miami Marine Stadium hosted the “world’s largest pickleball festival” January 13-14, 2024. The abandoned stadium was originally designed for power boat racing and other large scale events. The Pickle Games Miami welcomed thousands of visitors, over 300 of which played in the tournament. The event also included a pop-up VIP beach club, vendors and DJs.

Pickleball may be the answer to revive spaces and draw eager crowds. What other spaces do you know that have been revived by pickleball? Share your thoughts with us by emailing newsletter@thepickler.com.

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