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New York Has an Expensive Pickleball Problem

by Adam Forziati on

I don't <3 NY right now.

Not surprisingly, there’s an increase in pickleball demand in the Empire State (much like there’s an increase in demand everywhere). But New York has some serious – and expensive – catching up to do.

The state will need to build 3,558 courts at a project cost of $124.5 million to keep up with demand over the next 5-7 years, according to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s 2023 report.

That’s nearly 3 million square feet, or about 50 football fields' worth of space.

We recently learned from the SFIA that Texas will need to build 2,527 courts at a project cost of $88.5 million to keep up with demand over the next 5-7 years.

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But at least Texas still has the space for it. Sure, once you get out of the city, New York has some room … but it’s still the Northeast. Property is expensive to buy and expensive to develop.

Regardless, New York needs to kickstart its pickleball investment if it wants to serve the pickleball public. According to SFIA’s report, it ranks last in the nation in terms of dedicated court coverage.

With only 0.23 dedicated courts per 10,000 people, that’s 81% below the national average.

The gorgeous 14 courts that CityPickle installed in NYC's Central Park last summer were a good start, but that's of course only a drop in the bucket for what is needed state-wide. And they were only temporary (imagine if Central Park became a permanent hub for pickleball, though? Dare to dream).

You'd think NYC would have the most courts per capita in the state, but the city suffers from the same surprising lack of dedicated pickleball spaces that the rest of the state does.

Let's hope the Empire State can prioritize development ... or that the rapidly expanding Pickleball Kingdom franchise – which just announced upcoming locations in nearby New Jersey – will consider NY in their plans.

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