Pickleball America, the 80,000 square-foot facility at the Stamford Town Center, has been described as the largest indoor pickleball venue in the U.S. and will feature 28 indoor pickleball courts, lockers, showers, a café, a lounge area, and a childcare center.
The ribbon cutting was originally scheduled to open on July 10 in Stamford, but the soft launch was put back due to “unforeseen delays.”
Pickleball America released an email last Monday informing us to: “Stay tuned for new dates & time. We look forward to welcoming you to our space soon.” A splash on their website states: “Update. Due to an unforeseen delay, our soft opening date will be closer to the end of July. Stay tuned!”
However, it does seem possible to play on some of the courts as shown in this article from Newstimes.com (see also the following image).
Mia Schipani, a founder of Pickleball America, told Patch the soft opening will now happen nearer the end of July.
The venue will partner with several professional associations, leagues, and clubs, including the USA Pickleball Ambassadors and coaches in the tri-state area of Litchfield County, Connecticut; Berkshire County, Massachusetts; and eastern Dutchess County, New York, to offer private and group classes and allow league play.
Brainchild Of A Local Quartet
The pickleball complex idea was the brainchild of the local pickleball professional quartet Jay Waldner, Joseph Schipani, sister Mia Schipani, and Jay Ross. The four combined their talent to launch a “sports-tainment” facility centered around pickleball.
Waldner attended Questrom School of Business, Boston University, and has run his own company called Waldner’s Business EnvironmentsWaldner’s Business Environments since June 1988. Joseph Schipani is Treasury Management Officer at PNC Bank. Mia Schipani is a realtor with Houlihan Lawrence and brokered the deal between the Stamford Center Mall and Pickleball America.
The court rollout will happen over two phases which will happen in “the near future”, according to Schipani. Phase 1 will use the first floor and contain 13 courts over 38,000 square feet. Phase 2, on the second floor, is slightly larger at 42,000 square feet and will have 14 courts.
Pickleball America opening at Stamford Town Center pushed back https://t.co/v9q2Iy613q— Connecticut Post (@connpost) July 11, 2023
The huge space was previously occupied by Saks Off 5th, which moved out of the mall back in 2021.
“Thrilled To Be The Catalyst”
Ross commented, “We are thrilled to be the catalyst that fosters growth in Stamford, by building a larger player community like Pickleball America.”
Mia Schipani has also talked about how their vision is to build a similar look and feel to the one present in the Palisades Mall in New Jersey: “They have indoor ice skating, skiing, they are referenced as the newest generation of that experiential ‘bring the whole family’ destination. We could open up a childcare center right here so their parents can come and have childcare and socialize.”
Waldner mentions the broad appeal of the project: “It’s all about socialization. They could be 20- or 30-year-olds that drop off the kids, go to school, play a little pickle. There could be cross-pollination. The benefit of being in the mall is we could attract these industry partners to be right outside.”
Waldner owns an office furnishing company and would create a “Brooklyn Industrial” style with furnishings and design by Safavieh, the creative studio out of New York City.
Tie-ins with Half-Full Brewery offering pickleball-themed beer promotions with Stamford community organizations are also being discussed.
Mia Schipani mentions how “We’re working together to revitalize the whole Stamford Town Center as this new sports center for the community. There is no place for people to hang out in Stamford and this is going to be one of those focal points where people can come and play and hang out. They can just show up here, you don’t have to be a member and you don’t have to know how to play pickleball.”
Ms Schipani, who sits on the board of the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau, also talked about how the space could be used for other business opportunities further down the line:
“I know first-hand that this is a major addition to Fairfield County,” she said, noting the diverse requests for proposal that the space will be able to consider. “There’s endless uses for this space, this is an incredible opportunity for the hotels and businesses down here.”
Please read our other articles about pickleball in Connecticut.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?