More pickleball courts open in the city as Chicago hosts APP Pro Tour

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Pickleball is America’s fastest growing sport five years in a row now, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association which says pickleball participation nearly doubled last year.

2023 SFIA Topline Participation Report Now Availabile

“You can just bring a paddle. It’s very social, open play. That’s why I think it’s growing so fast and why it’s such a great sport,” says Chicago resident Nick Gavriols.

Now there are more courts opening in Chicago.

“I think it’s awesome. The courts are in great condition, great shape. It’s so convenient in the middle of the city,” says Alex Delecroix of Chicago.

Just this week, 11 pop-up pickleball courts opened at Lincoln Yards.

“We now have 28 courts that we’re managing and over 40 that we’ve built and they’re full every night and weekend,” says Chris Hastings, President of Chicago Sport & Social Club

Chicago Sport and Social Club and Big City Pickle run pickleball courts in Lincoln Yards, Fulton Market and the Gold Coast.

“We’ve got over 5,000 players and we see that at least doubling if not tripling in the next couple of years. So we do expect to build more courts to meet that demand throughout the city,” says Hastings.

Anyone can rent a court at

The Association of Pickleball Players Tour will host the APP Chicago Open this week in Highland Park.

“This is going to be the biggest ever pickleball tournament in Chicago history. We have more than 800 players coming to compete,” says Tom Webb, Chief Marketing Officer of APP.

You can buy tickets or stream Saturday and Sunday’s championships on ESPN.

“We have some of the world’s best pickleball pros competing and hundreds of amateurs who are coming out to take part,” says Webb,

Tess Caruso played in last year’s APP Chicago Open and also coaches pickleball. 

She says anyone can become good at the sport.

“You can be a good player at any age. I’ve lost to 16 year olds and I lost to 86 year olds. It really just is available to all age groups and all skill levels. So I think it’s just really inviting and inclusive,” says Caruso.

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