Rapid Rise of Pickleball and Padel: Opportunities in the Booming U.S. Racquet Sports Market

Rapid Rise of Pickleball and Padel: Opportunities in the Booming U.S. Racquet Sports Market

The surge in pickleball and padel: Both sports are experiencing significant growth in the United States, presenting a fantastic opportunity for many organizations.”


Currently, I believe that nearly everyone has a friend or acquaintance who plays pickleball or padel, and in some cases, we ourselves engage in these racquet sports. Undoubtedly, these sports are becoming increasingly popular among the American audience.



In any case, and before delving into the current state of both sports, I will briefly review what they entail, highlighting their similarities and differences:



Rapid Rise of Pickleball and Padel: Opportunities in the Booming U.S. Racquet Sports Market


On one hand, pickleball, with 48 million players (other studies reduce the number up to 36M) having tried the sport at least once in the past year, which translates to 1 in every 7 Americans, is the fastest-growing sport in the USA. On the other hand, padel holds the title of the world’s fastest-growing sport, boasting 25 million active players in 2023, with a projected 100 million players by 2030.



The surge in pickleball’s popularity has attracted attention from star athletes, sponsors, and media outlets, making it a lucrative investment opportunity. Additionally, the sport’s accessibility and ease of learning contribute to its widespread appeal across various age groups. As the pickleball craze continues, entrepreneurs (including celebrities) are capitalizing on the trend by establishing pickleball-themed restaurants and entertainment venues. The real estate market is also adapting, with pickleball courts replacing traditional tennis courts in some locations or shuttered mall stores. Overall, both pickleball and padel are riding the wave of global enthusiasm for racquet sports, each with its unique growth trajectory and potential.



Although the number of padel courts in the USA is still quite limited, with only a few hundred currently in existence, the forecast predicts that there will be approximately 30,000 courts by 2030. Other analyzes suggest a figure of 10,000, but in either case, the increase would be substantial. This growth has significant implications for the padel industry in general, including court constructors but also transportation and logistics providers, paddles and balls manufacturers, textile companies, high-tech solutions, coaching services, tournament management, and event organizers, among others. As a consequence of this expansion, the entire padel ecosystem is anticipated to attain a valuation of approximately 6 billion euros by the year 2026, up from its current value of 2 billion euros.


Miami has emerged as the padel capital in the USA, and before the end of this year, the number of existing clubs is set to double. The city’s contribution plays a pivotal role in establishing Florida as the premier state for padel within the United States, followed by Texas, California, or New York.



Pickleball, a sport deeply ingrained in American culture, regularly features in newspaper articles, TV news, and even television series. Across the country, there are over 45,000 courts, with Naples, FL earning the title of the pickleball capital. Remarkably, one-third of these courts have been converted from tennis courts. This transformation has sparked both supporters and critics. While it undoubtedly fuels pickleball’s growth, some argue that it might weaken the supremacy of tennis, the traditional racquet sport.



From a business perspective, there is ample room for both sports, and their practitioners have excellent facilities for practice. Incorporating pickleball or padel into existing tennis clubs or other kind of facilities presents several opportunities to enhance business profitability. For instance, converting a tennis court to accommodate pickleball might yield an eightfold increase, while the same conversion for padel could potentially multiply the income by six compared to a standard tennis court. These adaptations not only cater to the growing popularity of these racquet sports but also diversify revenue streams for facility owners. As the demand for pickleball and padel continues to rise, savvy entrepreneurs can capitalize on this trend by optimizing their existing infrastructure and attracting a broader clientele. It is becoming increasingly common to observe celebrities from the realms of sports, movies, or television investing in the pickleball or padel ecosystem.



GM Racket Sports actively promotes and supports the practice of racquet sports and its expansion in the United States, specifically focusing on tennispickleball, and padel. These sports are destined to collaborate for the empowerment of the racquet and paddle sports industry. Notably, many clubs and associations are embracing a multi-disciplinary approach by incorporating various racquet disciplines and even rebranding themselves as Racquet Clubs or Racquet Associations.


Cross-court players, those who seamlessly transition between different racquet sports, have emerged as an attractive segment for clubs and facilities. Their loyalty extends beyond a single sport, making them valuable consumers of sports merchandise, services, and apparel. Recently, in late March of this year, Miami hosted the first-ever RacquetX Congress, a gathering dedicated to racquet sports. Several presentations at the congress delved into the concept of cross-court players. As a sponsor and exhibitor at this event, GM Racket Sports had the opportunity to showcase the services we offer through our own booth.


This collaborative spirit and strategic alignment between racquet sports bode well for the industry’s growth and diversification.


In the current scenario, much attention is focused on determining when these two paddle sports can become Olympic events. Right now, the goal is Brisbane 2032 in Australia. However, achieving this will require dedicated effort, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sets stringent requirements for adopting a new Olympic sport. Rest assured, at GM Racket Sports, we will contribute our part to make it happen.

Jesús Martínez
Jesús Martínez


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