With such a rise in popularity for the sport of pickleball, there are hotspots across the US.
In some cities, you can find several dedicated pickleball courts; in others they will simply be converted from being used for tennis or marked out in tape.
Working out just how popular pickleball is in various places can be measured by multiple criteria.
From the number of pickleball courts per capita, the total number of courts, the number of Google searches, and the total number of active players.
Some cities and states may surprise you with how popular pickleball is.
In this guide, we will look at the most popular places for pickleball in the US including looking at the Google Search ranking and the unofficial pickleball capital.
We will also look at court density by population, news coverage, facility commitment, and what might be the best location to play in the USA.
Google Search Ranking
If you were to simply look at the interest in pickleball on the search engine, Google, then the state of Utah should come out on top which may seem a little strange.
This means a higher proportion of Google queries, not simply the amount of queries.
The ranking could be due to how popular pickleball is in the state as Salt Lake City is one of the best-equipped states to play the sport.
However, the ranking may relate to how many people are simply wondering why the sport is so popular in their state as the outdoor courts can seem unbearably cold in winter.
Another state to rank highly for Google Search is Arizona with the cities of Scottsdale and Gilbert being the best places to find a pickleball court.
The state’s first pickleball-dedicated sports complex was opened in Chandler and there is even Pickleball Kingdom which has around 15 courts and a drop-in course for beginners.
This is the ideal facility for those looking to learn the sport of pickleball and then progress to leagues and tournaments.
There are also fitness centers including FLC Fitness, G.R. Herberger Park, and Washington Activity Center.
Unofficial Pickleball Capital
Many enjoy playing pickleball in blazing sunshine all year round and ‘The Sunshine State’ contains the unofficial pickleball capital, in the entire world.
The city of Naples in Florida hosts the annual Minto US Open Pickleball Championship and even includes the Naples Pickleball Center with 60 well-kept courts.
The sport is growing in the city with active participation from young and old(er) players with over 10,000 players known to reside in the state.
In fact, there are courts on the beach at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, at various YMCAs, at Wiregrass Multi-Sports Complex, and at city parts such as those in the Town of Davie.
Court Density By Population
The sport of pickleball was known to be invented on Bainbridge Island so, naturally, the nearby city of Seattle, Washington ranks highly. This is especially when judged by the criterion of court density by population.
In the metropolitan area of Seattle-Tacoma, which includes Kent, you can find Pickleball Inc and Pickleball Station to play the sport indoors.
The most recent study found that Seattle, Washington had three pickleball courts per 20,000 residents, more than any other US city.
The city is known for its sportsmanship as well as its community involvement so this is an ideal place to learn pickleball and find a nearby club.
The popularity of pickleball may be loudly heard in the state of California. This is largely due to the competition over court space as the sport goes up against tennis leading to complaints over fair access.
The issue over who gets to play what on an outdoor court is a problem in San Diego as there have been demonstrations, corruption allegations, official city complaints, and #OccupyTennis protests.
Such incidents were covered by news outlets and featured on YouTube which brought the sport to the attention of thousands.
While pickleball may be popular in California, it may be harder to actually play the sport. However, since the news coverage, more cities in California are creating strictly pickleball-only courts to match the demand.
You can find one in Anaheim Tennis Center, Rancho California RV Resort, Acosta Community Center, and the local park districts such as the Park District of Oak Park.
The city of Austin in Texas could well be the best city to match the growing popularity of pickleball. That’s largely because of Austin Pickle Ranch which will include over 30 pickleball courts with half of them covered.
The facility will also include an outdoor music venue, a dog play yard, food trucks, and a space for yoga as well as Pilates.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department manages and maintains over 40 pickleball courts (both indoors and outdoors) and you can also play at entertainment complexes such as Dreamland.
The Most Well-Known Pickleball Court Location
Of course, New York City has a pickleball court and it is in perhaps the best-known location, Central Park. This is North Meadow Recreation Center where pickleball players meet daily to play at 97th Street.
The sport is rising in popularity with many recreation centers offering beginner courses and pickleball events while offering the chance to practice.
For a more rustic court, go to Manhattan, specifically Houston & 6th where there are numerous courts marked out with tape on the asphalt where you would be expected to bring your own portable net.
More communities are getting involved with the sport which means that the sport can be played in playgrounds across the city as well as in tennis facilities such as Court 16.
As the fastest-growing sport in the USA, it should not prove difficult to find a pickleball court.
Many parks and recreation departments are trying to meet the need by creating dedicated courts yet complexes are also building indoor courts too.
The most popular locations for the sport of pickleball look to be Salt Lake City for sheer interest alone yet states like Florida and California are understandably popular as the sport is so easily accessible and you can simply convert a tennis court to play.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pickleball The Fastest-Growing Sport Un The US?
There are an estimated 4.8 million pickleball players across the US.
A study taken by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association indeed called pickleball the fastest-growing sport in the US. This was based on a 40% rise in the number of players from one year to the next.
Why Do Many Retired People Enjoy Playing Pickleball?
The sport of pickleball is known to be less intense and easier on the joints which makes it an ideal workout for retired people.
While they may not be able to move across a tennis court that well, playing on a smaller pickleball court may be just right.
A study has also shown that playing pickleball has resulted in a lower level of depression in retired people. Playing the sport can also be related to finding a sense of purpose following retirement.