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Local entrepreneur Mike Rodrigues is about to make Chandler an even more desirable place to live. He recently announced the plans for Pickleball Kingdom, Arizona’s first dedicated pickleball facility and the largest indoor one in the United States. Pickleball Kingdom is expected to open sometime in the first quarter of 2022.
And it certainly seems like everywhere you look, folks are getting out to play pickleball. According to the press release, the sport is the fastest growing in the country. We wanted to know why Rodrigues thinks that is.
“Like all popular sports, pickleball has a strong social element. It’s fun to play one on one, but when you play doubles, it just takes the competition and excitement to a whole new level. There’s collaboration, communication, and strategy that factor into a victory,” Rodrigues wrote in an email interview with What Now Phoenix.
“My personal observation of what the “secret sauce” of pickleball’s meteoric rise into America’s mainstream awareness is its short learning curve. Regardless of your athletic ability, most people will be able to actually play a real game of pickleball within minutes of stepping onto a court for the first time. It’s the opposite for most other sports that takes months, if not years, to gain a respectable level of competency.”
Rodrigues says he knows of course there is elite pickleball, but he’s observed the immediate accessibility of the game and finds a lot of joy in that. “It warms my heart when I’m on courts and look around and see families playing together, young adults, elderly couples, teenagers, you name it, and they’re playing pickleball. It’s the great unifier and I wanted to help push that movement forward.”
Pickleball Kingdom, which will boast 16 courts, is headed to the northeast corner of Ray and Rural Roads; it will take over the space previously occupied by Gold’s Gym. Among its amenities will be court reservations, lessons, tournaments, and leagues, as well as locker rooms with showers, a pro shop, lounge areas, a snack bar, beer and wine, and a dedicated party room for events. The entire facility will be airconditioned.
“Chandler is the perfect place for us to launch Pickleball Kingdom. It’s a beautiful city, it’s pro-business, it’s pro-family, and now it’s pro-pickleball!” added Rodrigues. “We expect to build a large, enthusiastic, and inclusive community here quickly.”
The building’s demo and buildout phase officially started this past week. Rodrigues says its likely additional Pickleball Kingdoms will land in other parts of Arizona once the flagship is up and running.
Visit pickleballkingdom.com to learn more.