Charlotte, North Carolina, has landed a major player in a growing sport: The city will be the landing spot of a 1.9-acre pickleball complex — the very first Rally location.
Co-owned by world-ranked pickleball player Megan Charity, Rally will include four indoor and four outdoor courts, private-event areas, a full-service restaurant, and bars. Charity will lead pickleball programs for professional players and amateurs.
As of February, around 4.8 million people play the sport, nearly double from five years ago.
As pickleball continues to grow, business opportunities do, too — there are only about 10,000 places to play in the U.S. Rally joins a number of other investors capitalizing on the growth.
- Chicken N Pickle has locations in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma and plans to open an Arizona venue. It offers indoor and outdoor courts, rooftop bars, craft beers, and a full-service restaurant.
- Electric Pickle, set to open in Tempe, Arizona, next year, is a roughly 15,226-square-foot venue featuring nine pickleball courts, a bar, restaurant, retail store, and entertainment stage.
- In Charlotte, Sports Connection offers 14 indoor and four outdoor courts.
In 2018, the Professional Pickleball Association Tour formed, then was later acquired with Pickleball Central by Tom Dundon, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes.
A second pro tour sanctioned by USA Pickleball, the sport’s governing body, was launched by the Association of Pickleball Professionals in 2019. The prize purse for the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championships was $80,000.