Mall of Pickleball Courts To Debut in Arizona With National Expansion On Deck

Article originally posted on CoStar on May 25, 2023

Picklemall plans to open its first location in Tempe, Arizona, this summer. Plans are in place to build 50 Picklemalls across the country, including potential locations in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. (Picklemall)

A portion of the Arizona Mills mall in Tempe, Arizona, will be converted into an indoor pickleball venue by a company called Picklemall in the first of up to 50 locations it wants to open nationwide within the next two years.

The Tempe location with 24 pickleball courts is expected to open to the public in July, according to a statement from Picklemall.

Plans are in place to open the next batch of indoor Picklemall locations in three Texas cities: Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. The number of courts at each Picklemall will vary based upon the location.

Pickleball, the nation’s fastest-growing sport, has been popping up in apartment complexes and hotels across the country and recently started finding their way into malls, which are increasingly seeking out new kinds of tenants to occupy vacant department store space.

Picklemall, led by CEO West Shaw and backed by billionaire financier and Major League Pickleball founder Steve Kuhn, is also planning locations in Bentonville, Arkansas; Chicago; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Oklahoma City; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to the statement.

Kuhn and Shaw are looking at existing indoor malls or strip mall properties to reuse as a venue for pickleball courts.

“Pickleball is truly the Benjamin Button of sports,” said Kuhn in a statement. “Every year, the demographics for the sport get younger and younger. 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.”

The Picklemall locations are expected to offer a high volume of pickleball courts, allowing wait times to be reduced. Kuhn and Shaw also hope the Picklemall concept would raise “the standard for championship-style pickleball courts in the U.S.”