Sep 16, 2022 - News

The at-home pickleball courts of Washington, D.C.

A pickle ball sits on a pickle ball court.
Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The pickleball craze has hit D.C. hard, and Washingtonians are dropping tens of thousands of dollars to be able to play at home.

What’s happening: Over the last decade, there’s been a steady increase in local at-home courts.

Til Jones, president of Rockville-based Sport Systems, says he’s built more than 2,500 tennis courts during his 40-year career. Now, he says, nearly all of them have pickleball lines.

Matthew Magner, owner of World Class Courts, says they’ve built hundreds of pickleball courts each year over the last eight years.

Among the pickleball faithful: Newsmax anchor Greta Van Susteren replaced her and husband John Coale’s indoor pool with a home pickleball court, Washingtonian reported.

The big picture: Washington’s love for pickleball is in keeping with national trends, as it remains America’s fastest-growing sport. It’s estimated that 4.8 million Americans play pickleball.

Between the lines (literally): Washingtonians don’t often opt for singular at-home pickleball courts, Jones and Magner tell Axios. Instead, they’ll add pickleball lines to their tennis courts. 

Whichever way you spin it, it's an expensive project that requires about 1,800 square feet of space.

  • Magner says a basic pickleball court is roughly $20,000, not including an extra $10,000-$15,000 for fencing.
  • Jones puts the cost at $30,000-$40,000, plus $20,000 for lighting. For comparison, a tennis court costs upwards of $100,000.

Zoom in: Community pickleball courts are also on the rise. The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation started a pickleball program in 2015 and has since added over two dozen courts around the city.

Last summer, the Watergate Hotel added a court that stayed up until Labor Day and also created a pickleball-themed food and drink menu.

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