The Association of Pickleball Professionals reported more than 36.5 million players in 2022, and this number is continuing to grow. It's almost as popular as solitaire! With celebrities like LeBron James and Tom Brady joining in and cities across the country building more courts, the sport is enjoying growth in popularity.
With such tremendous growth, our team used online search interest to find which cities and states across the country are joining in. If you are looking for a new outdoor activity to keep you active this summer, maybe it’s time to learn how to play pickleball. So grab your paddle, find a court near you, and check out where your city or state ranks in the pickleball craze!
The most pickleball-obsessed U.S. cities per capita are Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; and Atlanta, GA.
Laredo, TX; Columbus, OH; Houston, TX; and New York, NY, are the cities with the largest increase in pickleball search interest year-over-year.
Based on search interest, residents in Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Florida are most pickleball obsessed.
Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Ohio have recorded the largest increase in pickleball search interest year-over-year.
While pickleball is becoming increasingly popular all across the country, some states are more obsessed than others. At the top of our ranking with the most search interest per capita is Miami, FL. In February, the Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved a resolution requesting that the county’s mayor assess how viable it would be to have a sports complex dedicated to pickleball, illustrating the increasing demand for places to play.
Second on our list is Orlando, FL, so it comes as no surprise that Florida has the second most pickleball courts in the country — 770 in total — as of February 2023. With so many courts to choose from and beautiful weather to play outdoors, we understand Florida residents’ obsession with the sport.
Coming in at third is Atlanta, GA, with nearly 40 courts in the city. According to Atlanta News First, PCKL, a performance pickleball gear company based in the state’s capital, and the city’s pickleball center have teamed up to open courts for people to play for free.
Wrapping up our top-five most obsessed cities are Tampa, FL, in fourth, and Minneapolis, MN, coming in at fifth.
Now that we have reviewed the most-obsessed cities, we want to dive into the most-obsessed states. Coming in first with the highest search interest per capita is Massachusetts. The state even has a site dedicated to helping you find courts nearby, gear to play, and tips on how to serve with confidence.
Second on our list is Hawaii. The third largest Hawaiian island, O’ahu, reported about 17 courts dedicated to pickleball in March of 2023, but the island plans to increase that number to 77 over the next few years to accommodate the sport’s popularity.
Coming in at third is Florida, which comes as no surprise after three of the state’s cities claimed spots in the top-five most obsessed cities ranking. Wrapping up the top five for states is a three-way tie for fourth, with Virginia, Colorado, and New York all recording the same search interest per capita.
According to The Guardian, pickleball was invented by three dads in 1965 for their children. It may be that pickleball’s age-friendliness is one of the largest contributors to its increasing popularity. As part of our study, we set out to find which cities and states have recorded the largest year-over-year search interest increase.
The cities with the highest growing interest in the sport are Laredo, TX; Columbus, OH; Houston, TX; and New York, NY. With all five cities recording more than 100% increase. In April, the city of Laredo Parks and Recreation hosted a free pickleball clinic and play day, in which the city provided supplies to anyone six years and older to play.
About 300 miles northeast in Houston, construction began in February for a new outdoor patio and sports bar which is expected to include four outdoor pickleball courts. This will add to the city’s 37 courts already available.
On a state level, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Ohio are the top states when it comes to increased interest in pickleball year-over-year. Mississippi leads the way with 86% increase and New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Ohio all tied for second with an 83% increase.
The increased interest in Mississippi is in part, due to the American Pickleball Tournament visiting the Gulf Coast earlier this year. Just one week before the tournament, the Tupelo City Council unanimously approved a $1.2 million construction project to add 12 pickleball courts, which will increase the total number of courts in the state to 42.
Whether it’s playing a friendly game of pickleball on a court or a board game on the floor of your living room, there are a variety of games that can bring people together. At Solitaire Bliss, we understand the importance of playing games. If you are looking for a game to pass some time until you can hit the court, try a game of online Solitaire or maybe even a crossword puzzle.
To determine overall obsession levels by state, we collected search interest data for 12 keywords related to pickleball. We shortened the list to basic terms to find the states most eager to learn more about the sport, and we then collected the total search volume for the terms. To determine overall scores, we totaled the search volume across all keywords. We then scaled the scores from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest possible score.
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