By Kathy Tran

Arizona-based Pickleball Kingdom, the self-proclaimed (which we do not doubt) “leading indoor brand in the booming world of pickleball” this week announced a five-unit franchise deal in the Dallas metro market.

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The indoor-pickleball company says the expansion is a milestone for its rapidly growing brand. Specific locations and opening dates are not yet known.

Here’s what we do know …

By press release, Pickleball Kingdom says it will partner with Dallas-area businessman and franchisee Dan Jenkins to bring an “unparalleled pickleball experience” to Dallas residents and visitors.

“His passion for the sport and his love and commitment to his community align perfectly with our brand values,” Founder Ace Rodriguez says of Jenkins. “With this new partnership, we are confident that Pickleball Kingdom will flourish and become the go-to destination for [neighbors] who want to have fun and be healthy.”

Rodriguez says the five new metro-area venues, which will look something like the below video, will “solidify Dallas as a destination location and help to expand its economy with more jobs, revenue and visitors.”

The Advocate reported in fall 2022 that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the world, with an estimated increase of 40% to 4.8 million players last year, per a 2022 report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

Interviews with about 15 people in Dallas who play pickleball daily turned up no one who played before 2017; most took it up in 2019 or later. Pickleball is taking over rec centers and tennis courts all over town due to high demand, we reported at the time.

And the game’s popularity shows no sign of dwindling.

Jenkins said he is honored to help bring Pickleball Kingdom’s “unrivaled indoor pickleball experience” to his home city.

“I’m excited to provide top-notch facilities for players of all skill levels, including beginners,” he said. “With Pickleball Kingdom’s proven track record and commitment to excellence, I am confident that our Dallas clubs’ members and visitors will agree with Pickleball Kingdom’s value statement of, ‘Life is better with Pickleball.'”

Courtesy Pickleball Kingdom

Pickleball Kingdoms offer about 15 indoor courts, equipment, tournaments, professional instruction for experts and beginners, reservations or drop-ins, snack bars, pro shops, mezzanine with TVs, wifi, ball feeder machines, locker rooms and maybe most importantly, guaranteed good weather.

Pickleball is a professional sport in some places, but it’s easy for the average person to pick up. Courts are about half the size of tennis courts, with slightly lower nets, and it is played with paddles, not rackets, and light plastic balls with holes. During Texas summers, players compete for indoor courts as much as anything else.

Indoor pickleball courts can be found at about 20 rec centers around Dallas, we reported last year.

At the time of our story, City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department had reconfigured at least five public tennis courts to the 50% smaller pickleball courts in the past year, said Assistant Director M. Renee Johnson. She told the Advocate she had taken up the sport herself.

We reached out to Pickleball Kingdom for more specific timeline and location details and will keep readers posted.

More on pickleball in Lake Highlands here.