‘Picklemall’ to Transform Minnesota Shopping Center Into Giant Pickleball Complex
I feel like I'm the only person in Minnesota that hasn't played pickleball. I don't really know anything about the game, is it tennis with whiffle balls?!? I know it's super popular though because every morning, I drive by a pickleball court on my way to work and it's always packed.
From what I understand, finding court time can be challenging, but one company is about to change that. Picklemall is converting old shopping centers, including one here in Minnesota, into giant pickleball complexes.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year in a row, according to an SFIA report published by USA Pickleball. The number of players doubled last year and has increased 158.6 percent over three years.
It's estimated that nearly 9 million Americans of all ages already play pickleball with legions of people expected to pick up the game this year.
Picklemall is going all in with an aggressive plan to make the sport more accessible in cities across the country.
The company says demand is currently outpacing "infrastructure growth" which makes it hard for pickleballers to find court time.
'Picklemall' to Transform Minnesota Shopping Center Into Giant Pickleball Complex
Their concept is simple. Remodel giant buildings like malls, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Toys 'R Us stores into a pickleball destination with dozens of courts and they plan to open 50 of these "Picklemalls" in the next two years.
The company is backed by, Steve Kuhn, a billionaire and pickleball enthusiast. Kuhn founded Major League Pickleball and says, "Pickleball is truly the Benjamin Button of sports. Every year, the demographics for the sport get younger and younger."
Kuhn hopes Picklemalls will help grow the sport, "Pickleball has the opportunity to cross the barriers that divide us — age, race, class — to foster togetherness and spread joy to the communities in which Picklemall will reside. That starts with getting creative about location, and the future of pickleball is indoors."
Picklemall will open locations in serval cities across the country in the next 2 years including Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee.
Specifics on the Minnesota location haven't been announced yet. The company is encouraging people to follow them online for updates.
We do know that each Picklemall will have an app that will allow you to reserve court time and each court will have cameras recording gameplay so players can study their film to improve their performance.