Why Pure Pickleball in Scottsdale, Az. Is a Huge Deal for the Sport

USA Pickleball plans to move its headquarters to the massive new site upon competition.

Why Pure Pickleball in Scottsdale, Az. Is a Huge Deal for the Sport

Since the boon of pickleball during the pandemic, many destinations have laid claim to being the home of the sport’s craze. Few can match Scottsdale, Az.’s credentials.

At the center of the excitement is Pure Pickleball, an 11-acre site that will be the largest pickleball facility in Arizona and one of the largest facilities in the world when it opens in late 2024 or early 2025.

No one is more enthusiastic about the development than USA Pickleball, which plans to move its headquarters and training center there from a nearby hotel. As the sport has exploded in popularity, the National Governing Body’s staff has grown from three individuals to 40. Among the newbies is Jose Moreno, chief marketing and strategy officer, who joined the team in August after eight years at the Fiesta Bowl.

“We’re busting at the seams,” he says. “We’re growing like crazy. We needed a new facility.”

Pure Pickleball’s effect will be felt across the world if USA Pickleball has its way. The new home will facilitate managing the sport’s popularity. More than 2,000 USA Pickleball members are part of an ambassador program that has succeeded the NGB’s wildest dreams in terms of expanding audiences.

“We used to be a grandma and grandpa sport,” notes Moreno. “Now we have upwards of 30 million players.”

One of USA Pickleball’s chief objectives is to to ensure those who started pickleball in recent years don’t drop their racquets anytime soon. That’s where sites like Pure Pickleball come into play.

Phase 1 of the project includes 28 over-sized (34’x64’) indoor pickleball courts fthat will be privately gated and fenced with professional indirect lighting and high-quality video cameras for streaming matches or recording games. The center piece is a first-of-its-kind Championship Court (50’x70’) with a wrap-around 500-seat stadium and state-of-the-art production capabilities for televised matches. Another 16 outdoor courts will follow, as well as two rooftop playing surfaces. Other amenities include an on-site restaurant and bar, event space, child-care facilities, a gym, and pro shop.

As you might expect, many regional tournaments will be moved to the new facility, and look for national championships, too. “This will be the bright, shiny new venue,” predicts Moreno.

While few of the many pickleball sites popping up across the country can duplicate such effort, it is indicative of the larger movement to keep up with demand for court space. Moreno says it's important to cut down on common wait times at city parks to maximize enjoyment. Once on the court, players have a ball.

“How can we ensure they have a great experience?” is the No. 1 question USA Pickleball asks about its fan base, adds Moreno.

While born in Washington, pickleball is an international phenomenon. Not only is USA Pickleball this country’s NGB, it serves as the sport’s international federation. Among the ambitious goals to land a spot in the 2032 Summer Olympics, says Moreno.

That entails maintaining this huge wave of momentum. “We always want to stay top-of-mind,” says Moreno. “There's a lot of announcements coming up here in the next few months and it’s all good stuff, but there will be changes. When you're in the infancy stage, you have to make sure that we are very mindful and do your diligence.”


Photo Credit: Pure Pickleball