The fastest-growing sport in North America isn’t lacrosse or ultimate frisbee. It’s pickleball. That’s certainly true in active adult communities where pickleball remains all the rage. It’s not uncommon to see courts included in new communities and for older communities to get courts added due to overwhelming interest.
It makes sense given how appealing the game is for older active adults. Similar to tennis, the smaller court and light paddles take some of the strain out of playing. You can enjoy an active game without having to run or drive for shots out of your range. The plastic ball travels slowly, making it easier for players of all levels to compete.
Even if your active adult community doesn’t have pickleball courts, there might be public pickleball courts nearby. That’s especially true in major urban areas where parks and recreation departments have found that it’s easy enough to convert an old volleyball or tennis court into a pickleball court or create a multi-sport court that covers all three. And the number of these courts is growing dramatically.
If you want to live somewhere where you’ll be able to play pickleball regularly, you might want to consider these cities, all of which are full of courts. (Thanks to The Trust for Public Land for compiling the data).
If it’s about sheer numbers, no U.S. city can even come close to matching Seattle, Washington and its 93 pickleball courts. The No. 2 city on the list, Virginia Beach, Virginia, comes in at 43. They’re followed by Honolulu, Hawaii (41), St. Paul, Minnesota (38), and Omaha, Nebraska, and Phoenix, Arizona which tied with 31 courts apiece.
It’s one thing to have the most courts overall, but if your concern is making sure there’s always an open court for you to play on, you’ll want to consider the cities with the most courts per capita. U.S. cities with the most pickleball courts per 100,000 residents are Seattle (1.4), St. Paul (1.2), Madison, Wisconsin (1.0), and Virginia Beach (0.8). There’s a three-way tie for fifth-most between Omaha, Plano, Texas, and Chesapeake, Virginia (0.70).