Feb 21, 2023 - Economy

Interest in pickleball exploded during the pandemic

Data: Yelp; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans searching for ways to fill new chunks of leisure time are leaning heavily toward pickleball, data out today from Yelp shows.

Zoom in: Interest in the game shot up by 275% from 2019 to 2022, according to changes in consumer actions such as viewing relevant business pages, sharing photos or posting reviews on Yelp.

The big picture: Pickleball was the fastest-growing sport in America last year, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The intrigue: Pickleball even made its way onto the agenda for the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting earlier this year in D.C.

  • Mayors in attendance at a pickleball breakout session discussed ways in which the sport can drive community engagement and real estate development.

One surprising takeaway from their conversation: people are having too much fun playing it.

  • "Some guys in Utah were doing surveys on the noise complaints from neighbors, and the number one complaint was that people were having too much fun and they were being loud — not the sound of the ball," said Tim Klitch, a franchise co-Owner of Major League Pickleball from Austin.
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