The growing popularity of pickleball has resulted in a supply and demand issue, and a strong need for dedicated pickleball facilities. Too many players, not enough courts. Many areas still lack enough courts to meet the demand for pickleball courts. This article will outline opportunities and issues across the country for building courts to fulfill demand. Many cities have lots of public playable courts, but with a few exceptions there are almost no paid, dedicated pickleball facilities. Yet.
One example of the need for dedicated pickleball facilities. Massachusetts
The Places 2 Play database shows a total of 274 places to play pickleball in Massachussetts. The vast majority of these are outdoor public courts, most using temporary nets, and are largely unavailable during the New England winter. Next there are YMCAs, community centers and tennis centers that have adapted their outdoor and indoor facilities to accommodate pickleball. There are a few other multi-purpose sports facilities that have added some form of pickleball.
I could only identify two, yes two, dedicated pickleball clubs in the entire state. Massachusetts is the 16th largest state with a population of 6.7 million. By contrast, I found a database of 304 tennis court locations in the Boston area alone…and no fewer than 54 dedicated tennis clubs that require dues or court fees.
In both sports, people have a low cost option: free outdoor courts. But in tennis there is a well established body of paid clubs. In pickleball, that is just beginning and the shortage of clubs is attracting more and more entrepreneurs. When considering the launch of a new pickleball club or facility there are several business models to consider. Business-starters cannot help but be drawn to the broad appeal and the phenomenal growth of the sport.
I don’t believe the dynamics in Massachusetts are different from other states. Texas, a state 6 times the size of Massachusetts, has a few dedicated pickleball centers, but a very small number considering they have 530 court locations listed on Places 2 Play.
There are a growing number of examples of new facilities and clubs springing up to fulfill demand
The pickleball phenomena is clearly nationwide. Red states, blue states, warm states, cold states, big states, little states. In fact the Places 2 Play locations pretty much track to overall state populations. States with the most places to play pickleball are California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina. It is no surprise that some of the most interesting new pickleball clubs, centers are facilities are being built in these states, but the reality is they are popping up everywhere. Even very small towns are no exception.
Pickleball Business Advisors is brothers Bill and John Pryor. We provide a variety of consulting services based on extensive experience in fitness business development, and research into the fast growing pickleball marketplace. To initiate a feasibility assessment for your pickleball club, or for other consulting, contact us so we can learn about your project.