CHANDLER, Ariz. — Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America, according to the USA Pickleball Association. The craze is taking hold in the valley too.
Pickleball Kingdom opened in Chandler at Ray and Rural in May of 2022. Ace Rodrigues, the facility’s founder and owner, said they’ve been busy ever since they welcomed their first players just a few months ago.
The new location is a 40,000-square-foot indoor facility with 15 courts, party rooms, event space, and more. Rodrigues said anyone interested in getting into the game doesn't have to be an athlete to pick up a paddle. All ages can play the sport, which is a social mix of tennis and ping pong.
Rodriguez added the benefits of an indoor court make playing more comfortable for athletes who don't have to deal with extreme heat during summer months, and wind affecting the ball placement on the court. He offers memberships at his Chandler location, which works like a traditional gym. Players can drop in throughout the day, reserve courts and meet new players at pick-up games.
Chandler's Pickleball Kingdom has options for all levels from free beginner 101 courses, to intermediate and advanced lessons. There are different leagues with time slots for lunch-time drop-ins, youth camps, young professionals match-ups and more.
The facility's owner said they plan to sell wine and beer soon too.
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