Pickleball is evolving into one of the most popular recreational sports in the country. It’s a sport that’s easy enough for someone of any age to pick up and learn, with equipment that’s relatively easy to acquire while also being affordable. Prior to 2021, Tampa Parks & Recreation had just nine pickleball courts at Julian B. Lane, Cuscaden Park and Madison Park. By 2022, Tampa Parks & Recreation added 14 pickleball courts at Rowlett Park, Foster Playground, Skyview Playground and more.
In 2023, Tampa Parks & Recreation will add 26 pickleball courts, spread out across Copeland Park, Williams Park, MacFarlane Park, Highland Pines Park, Al Barnes Park, Vila Brothers and New Tampa Park. This sport is growing in popularity so much that athletes such as Lebron James, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady have all purchased teams in Major League Pickleball. Major League Pickleball is also set to plays games in Bradenton in November 2023.
Adding more pickleball recreation options for Tampa residents
For residents who prefer to play inside, indoor courts can be found at MLK Gymnasium, Forest Hills Gymnasium, Port Tampa Gymnasium, Loretta Ingraham Gymnasium and the Police Athletic League Gymnasium. Free lessons for beginners are also offered daily at Cordelia B. Hunt and Barksdale Centers and private instruction is available upon request at Rowlett Park.
“Pickleball is incredibly popular here in Tampa, and provides so many great opportunities to exercise, while working on agility and balance,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “People of all ages can easily take up the game and it’s simple to learn, especially if you ever played badminton or tennis. We can’t wait to see the public out enjoying these new courts.”
“Whether you’re a beginner who just wants to learn a new sport for fun, or you’re an experienced pickleball player, this sport offers something for everyone.” said Sherisha Hills, Director of Tampa Parks & Recreation. “For someone wanting to add casual, social exercise to their routine, pickleball is a great way to go.”
Major League Pickleball will play in Florida in 2023
As Tampa expands its own spot in the pickleball world, Major League Pickleball itself is rapidly expanding across the country. The expansion team is a part of a three-pronged growth plan for 2023, which will see 12 teams grow to 16, three events double to six, and player prize money and payouts surpass $2M. MLP is the standard-bearer for pickleball in the United States, delivering the highest-quality and most exciting experience in the sport as well as the largest prize money payouts per event to its players.
NBA stars Draymond Green, coach Steve Kerr, and tennis Hall of Fame Kim Clusters have all added to the impressive investment roster for MLP.
“We are thrilled to welcome them to our unrivaled roster of strategic partners, who are individually and collectively instrumental in helping us elevate professional pickleball, showcase the joy it brings to millions of people around the globe, and further our ’40 by 30’ campaign – our mission to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030,” Major League Pickleball Founder Steve Kuhn added in a press release.