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APP Tour Establishes Physical HQ at 'World's First Pickleball Stadium'

by Adam Forziati on

The news cycle isn't slowing for the Association of Pickleball Players. Just Wednesday, they announced their first major event of 2024, featuring a deep-pocketed partner and a first-of-its-kind international team tourney. Today, the APP says: they're going brick-and-mortar.

That's right: this is, to the best of our knowledge, the first in-person headquarters and training center for a professional pickleball league.

And what a fitting venue:

  • Aptly named, “The Fort,” this soon-to-be destination in Fort Lauderdale will serve as a gathering place for eating, drinking, playing pickleball, and – importantly – observing the sport from above.
  • Featuring 43 professional courts and the world's first pickleball stadium, The Fort will open to both casual and competitive players with open and reserved play, clinics, leagues, tournaments, pro shop, and a recovery center.
  • The city says The Fort will bring over 100 jobs to the area.

The move to Fort Lauderdale seems like so much more than a flashy PR opportunity. There's a significant amount of strategy here, considering Fort Lauderdale and the South Florida region is one of the strongest pickleball communities in the world, according to APP's release.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area represents the single largest concentration of pickleball players in Florida, with 20 percent of the state’s pickleball-playing population residing in the area.

"According to the APP’s 2023 player participation research data, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area is the fourth largest pickleball market in the nation, with 3.1 percent of their population having played the sport at least once in the past twelve months."

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Located within the 93-acre Snyder Park and adjacent to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, The Fort opened its doors late last year.

Other features at The Fort:

  • 14 weatherproof courts
  • Open and reserved play
  • Clinics, leagues and tournaments for casual and competitive players
  • Pro shop, locker rooms and fitness recovery center
  • 4,000 square foot event center
  • Food and beverage options

“The Fort will set the bar for pickleball facilities worldwide and will allow us to further develop the APP into the leading global pickleball organization. We cannot wait to officially call South Florida – the epicenter of pickleball action – our home,” APP Founder Ken Herrmann says.

Adam Forziati

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