Improving communities through sport

Unlocking Pickleball’s Potential at Sports Facilities! Exploring the Benefits, Risks & Opportunities

Close up of pickleball ballon court

Image courtesy of Steve-DigitalSpatula on Adobe Stock

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, with more than 30 million players across the country. This hybrid sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong and has become increasingly popular among people of all ages and skill levels. Sports facilities around the country are scrambling to build pickleball courts or convert current tennis or basketball courts to keep up with the demand for the sport. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits, risks, and opportunities for civic leaders and facility owners who are looking to offer pickleball at their sports complexes.

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Benefits of Pickleball for Cities

Pickleball is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise that can improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, lung function, and blood sugar regulation. It also aids in improving hand-eye coordination and can even help alleviate depression. But the sport isn’t just good for the people playing, pickleball can also benefit the communities and facilities that host the sport. A few of the biggest benefits are listed below:

  1. Increased Revenue: Adding pickleball to your facility can attract new members and generate additional revenue through court rentals, lessons, clinics, and tournaments. For a top-end example, the Minto US Open Pickleball Championship in Naples, FL generates $4 million a year in revenue.
  2. Diverse Demographic: Pickleball appeals to players of all ages and skill levels, from beginners to advanced players. This means that your facility can attract a more diverse demographic of members, ultimately leading to a larger customer base. This can be done by hosting open play or you can offer pickleball programming to further your reach. Our own West Monroe Sports & Events is currently holding their 8-week event of “Pickleball Nights” every Monday night.
  3. Utilizing Underutilized Space: In many sports facilities, courts are left unused for certain days. Adding pickleball to your list of offerings can provide a recreational activity for your members and utilize underutilized court space during slow hours or during weekdays when there are no tournaments.

Pickleball Risks

While pickleball brings numerous benefits to players and facilities, it’s crucial to consider the potential risks involved. For players, the physical intensity of the game can lead to injuries like sprains, strains, or even more serious conditions, if not played responsibly. Appropriate training, warm-ups, and safety equipment are essential to mitigate these risks. For facilities, the establishment of pickleball courts requires careful planning and investment. There can be initial resistance from residents due to concerns about noise, traffic, and changes in neighborhood character. Be sure to consider the following risks before building new courts or converting existing ones:

  1. Space Limitations: Depending on your facility’s size, adding pickleball courts may not be feasible. It is important to evaluate the amount of open space available before implementing pickleball. Adding pickleball to your offerings can be profitable, but reducing or taking away another sport to make room for pickleball typically isn’t a good decision.
  2. Investment Costs: Building and maintaining pickleball courts can be expensive. It is important to consider the initial investment costs, as well as ongoing maintenance and repair costs. The per-court cost of building a pickleball court, starting from an undeveloped site, is between $28,000 and $37,500 depending on which amenities you decide to include. In some cases, it is a better idea to continue to temporarily convert basketball courts and tennis courts to avoid investment costs and to fill empty time slots for those spaces.
  3. Noise Complaints: You’ve probably heard, Pickleball has a noise problem. If your facility is located close to homes, you may receive noise complaints about the sound of the pickleball being struck. You must keep this in mind if you are considering building courts. USA Pickleball is working with various organizations to conduct acoustic studies on equipment and materials while implementing incentive programs for manufacturers to create quieter paddles. But until quieter equipment is created, the best thing you can do to avoid this problem is to construct the courts a safe distance from homes or businesses and use sound-dampening materials around the courts to abate the sounds of play.


Pickleball offers substantial opportunities for growth both at the individual and community level. As an individual engages in pickleball, they are exposed to a sport that encourages interaction, fosters relationships, and promotes camaraderie. This social aspect of the game enhances one’s communication skills and sense of belonging. For communities, pickleball serves as a catalyst for economic growth and community development. The sport brings together people of diverse ages and backgrounds, forging a stronger sense of community cohesion. Along with all these great opportunities for individuals and communities are the following opportunities for the growth of the facility that hosts the sport:

  1. Promote Fitness: Pickleball is a fun and approachable way to promote fitness and encourage community involvement in every age range and skill level. It is an easy sport to learn, but still complicated enough to keep even the most experienced players interested. Pickleball is also great because the game can be slowed down or sped up to cater to the players’ fitness level.
  2. Increase Membership: Offering a unique and popular activity, such as pickleball, can attract new members and increase membership revenue. Pickleball’s popularity is massive and the demand for courts is currently much higher than the supply. This makes it a great time to provide pickleball courts and bring in new customers interested in the sport.
  3. Host Tournaments and Events: Pickleball tournaments and events can attract a large number of participants and visitors, providing an opportunity to showcase your facility. The tournaments and events also bring in revenue for the facility and boost economic impact in the community and surrounding businesses. The Minto US Open Pickleball Championship in Naples brought in an estimated $14 million in economic impact during the 7-day event.


Pickleball is a valuable addition to sports facilities, offering numerous benefits and opportunities for facility owners. As with any decision, it is important to evaluate the risks and potential costs before investing. However, with the growing popularity of pickleball and its ability to appeal to a diverse demographic, the rewards of adding it to your facility may far outweigh the risks. By unlocking the potential of pickleball, you can engage your community, strengthen your facility’s appeal, and ultimately increase revenue. If you are interested in adding pickleball to your facility’s offerings, contact us or give us a call at (727) 474-3845 and we can help you bring the fastest-growing sport in the US to your community.

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