STAMFORD, Conn. — Pickleball America aims to become one of the largest indoor pickleball venues in the world as it takes over an 80,000-square-foot anchor space in the Stamford Town Center mall this summer. The organization plans to open 28 courts in two phases—Phase 1 will begin immediately with the first floor (43,000 square feet), with the second floor (37,000 square feet) opening in the following months.
The business was created by four local Stamford professionals who joined forces to launch a “sports-tainment” center focused on one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. According to a recent report from the Association of Pickleball Professionals, more than 36.5 million people played pickleball at least once from August 2021 to August 2022.
“Stamford will now be a nationwide destination as a result of this exciting new downtown pickleball venue,“ states Loren Nadres, director of economic development, City of Stamford.
In addition to pickleball, the venue will become a multi-use flex space for tournaments, exhibitions, live music, and events.
“’Sports-tainment,’ a sports-first experience appeals to not only avid players but to people who may want to try something new,” says Pickleball America co-founder Jay Waldner. “We are hoping to inspire and encourage the community to join a healthy and fun form of socializing.”
Pickleball America’s mission is to unite all levels of players and to create a facility for all skill levels to enjoy sports, not just the enthusiasts. “We are thrilled to be the catalyst that fosters growth in Stamford, by building a larger player community like Pickleball America,” says Jay Ross, another co-founder.
The complex will house 28 indoor pickleball courts and have lockers, showers, a lounge, a café, and an area for childcare. The venue is partnering with a number of professional associations, leagues, and clubs, as well as the USA Pickleball Ambassadors and Coaches in the tristate area to offer private and group instruction, facilitate league play, and will be open seven days per week to accommodate all desired hours of play for kids to seniors.
“We’ve been focused on health and wellness, and Pickleball America works perfectly with that strategy, especially in this large format as an anchor,” said Alexander Yaraghi, owner of Stamford Town Center. “Since purchasing the mall in 2020, it has been our goal to create a community-driven entertainment destination that serves Fairfield County and beyond.”
Pickleball America’s first phase is set to open in late spring 2024.