Exciting news for pickleball enthusiasts in Tempe yesterday as the city became the proud home of the first U.S. Picklemall location.
Picklemall is a revolutionary indoor pickleball facility that repurposes mall spaces with state-of-the-art technology to create vibrant hubs for players to come together.
With a total of 24 indoor courts, the facility offers convenient online bookings for enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.
Pickleball CEO West Shaw told ABC15.“What’s beautiful about pickleball is that you can have three generations all on the same court, and they can all play at the same skill level. There’s not another sport like it.”
He added, “ So, for this location, we have 16 courts; we’re going to build up to 24 over the next few months.”
A Dozen Courts
Occupying the former At Home store at Arizona Mills, Picklemall boasts an impressive 104,000-square-foot space with over a dozen pickleball courts. However, plans are already underway to expand to 24 courts in the coming months.
The Valley is proud to host the inaugural Picklemall, and there are ambitious plans for expansion in the near future with the company aiming to establish 50 locations within the next two years.
Location Details: Arizona Mills [5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle], Suite 313, Tempe, Arizona.
Many thanks to local pickler Kimberly Van De Graaff for providing such an in-depth report of how the inauguration day went yesterday on her Facebook page.
She managed to get a photo taken with Steve Kuhn, the MLP founder and financial backer of the facility. We recently covered Steve in this other great article.
Here’s our account of her observations:
The first U.S. Picklemall location opened its doors to pickleball enthusiasts, but not without a few initial challenges. Attendees faced difficulties navigating the website for reservations, though hopes are high for the recently launched app to streamline the process.
Reservation System Problems
Upon arrival, some noticed discrepancies in the reservation system, as unreserved players were allowed entry while others faced long wait times.
Inside the facility, the popularity of pickleball quickly became evident. The limited number of racks for paddles and confusion over the order of play caused chaos at each court.
Players struggled to determine who was up next, leading to paddle movements and potential spot-stealing. Despite this, there is optimism that these issues will be resolved and future visits will be less crowded.
The facility’s highlights included courts with TV monitors for recording or replaying games, although they were not operational during this visit. The innovative flooring received positive reviews, with only a few minor dead spots that will be addressed.
The comfortable lighting and court spacing impressed players, providing ample room for lobs and ATPs. Protective barriers around each court kept balls contained without causing disruptions.
However, not everything was perfect. Access to the mall from the facility was blocked off, leaving some attendees wondering if this might change in the future. Food was allowed on the courts, but scattered crumbs and trash raised concerns about cleanliness.
A Popular Destination
Some attendees reported the need for more permanent cooling solutions, while others found the seating arrangements to be a relaxing change of pace.
Despite the initial challenges, attendees expressed excitement about the potential of this Picklemall location. As the facility works out its kinks, it is expected to become a popular destination for pickleball enthusiasts in Tempe and beyond.
The company plans to open several more locations in cities across the country, ensuring even more players can enjoy this unique and inclusive sport. She listed Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Madison, and Bentonville, Arkansas, as other future locations.
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