New York (CNN) Pickleball is coming to your local mall, replacing the shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy and Saks Off 5th stores.
It may seem like a strange strategy, but this matching benefits both the mall owner and the mall owner. pickleball player.
Malls need new tenants to fill empty spaces and draw customers beyond traditional department store anchors and clothing stores.
After years of restrictions on gatherings during the pandemic, consumers are demanding fun social experiences, shifting their consumption from goods to experiences such as theaters, arcades and amusement parks.
The new mix of shopping malls also includes skydiving, virtual golf and a brewery.
Pickleball, on the other hand, is the fastest growing sport in America. The game’s backers and developers are desperate to find empty spaces to build courts.
Combining elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis, pickleball originated in 1965. However, its popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic.
The number of people playing pickleball will grow 159% in three years to 8.9 million by 2022, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, an industry group.
Courts have been set up in recreation centers, hotels, and retirement communities.
However, the rapid spread of pickleball has created a dilemma for the public parks and recreation sector, which must balance competing interests in limited space and funding. Retirement communities and country clubs also face the challenge of creating spaces for people to enjoy gaming without antagonizing others.
Some tennis players and neighbors are annoyed by this. pickleball pop pop noise And it has blocked the development of the courts.
So pickleball will be headed to shopping malls, where players can play and then grab a bite to eat or shop, landowners hope.
A group called Pickleball America occupies 80,000 square feet of anchor space in Stamford, Connecticut. Former two-story Sax Off No. 5 retail store this summer. It will be one of the largest indoor pickleball venues in the United States.
The Meadows lake st louisThe plan is to fill the space occupied by outdoor mall Bed, Bath and Beyond with a pickleball club.
A pickleball facility recently opened in a former Burlington storefront in Shore Mall, New Jersey, and a pickleball club took over the Old Navy space in a shopping mall in New Hampshire.
and the first camp picklesis a new chain that combines pickleballs with food and drink options in an atmosphere of 1940s camp culture and is set to open next year in Huntsville, Alabama. It also plans to expand to Atlanta, Dallas and Minneapolis.