If you've never heard of pickleball you must be living under a rock!

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association it's one of the fastest growing sports in America. In fact, over the last 3 years the number of pickleball players has increased by 159%.

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Despite having a handful of both outdoor and indoor pickleball courts available in the greater Kalamazoo/West Michigan area, it's still quite difficult to find an open pickleball court these days as they're typically booked solid.

It seems there are too many pickleball players and not enough courts, but real estate developers think they may have just the solution!

Space Available

It was a sad day when beloved home goods outlet Bed Bath & Beyond announced they were filing for bankruptcy and would soon close all stores. What's sad news for fans of their famous 20% off coupon could actually be good news for Michigan pickleball players.

According to CNN real estate developers are turning to pickleball to fill empty stores in their malls to,

...[replace] shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, and Saks Off 5th stores. It may seem like a strange strategy, but the match offers benefits to both mall owners and pickleball players.

The last round of closings in Michigan included stores in Okemos, Saginaw, and Troy. The now-closed Bed Bath & Beyond in Portage, MI is located near such retailers as Bob's Discount Furniture, Reflections Med Spa, Tropical Smoothie, and more. This means developers can still draw consumers to their shopping centers and pickleball players will have more courts available to play on. It's a win-win!

Google Maps
Bed Bath & Beyond Portage, 2022 - Google Maps

CNN reports breweries, virtual golf, and indoor skydiving experiences are also filling these vacant spaces adding,

Consumers are craving fun, social experiences after years of limited gatherings during the pandemic, and they have shifted their spending from goods to experiences like theaters, arcades and amusement parks.

What Do You Think?

As someone who knows they're in the minority and doesn't even play pickleball, I'll say I am all for turning these empty retail spaces into pickleball courts. It's better than letting them sit there empty!

Would you like to see more pickleball courts available in our area?

Indoor Pickleball Courts Near Kalamazoo

A perfect sport for any age or skill level, check out these indoor pickleball courts in and around Kalamazoo.

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