(FOX40.COM) — Stockton will soon host the country’s first pickleball and padel courts on an American college campus as University of the Pacific breaks ground on a 12 court complex.
The complex will host eight pickleball courts and four padel courts, which according to UOP is a popular overseas racket game that began in Mexico in the 1960s.
The courts will be located near the Pacific’s Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center and will have lights and video cameras for live streaming, according to the university.
UOP has partnered with San Diego-based Taktika Padel, which was born from an idea by Pacific women’s tennis head coach Mike Erwin.
“Our partnership with University of the Pacific is an American first, and I’m confident will pave the way for other college campuses to embrace these two insurgent racket sports as they gain popularity across our country,” Taktika Padel CEO Ryan Redondo said.
Taktika Padel will construct the complex and take on the responsibility of operating and maintaining the new complex.
Students, faculty and staff will be given free access to the courts each day from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to midnight with the ability to reserve courts during the day for a reduced price.
“This unique and powerful partnership will serve the Pacific community by providing two exciting new sports for our students to play while filling a great need in the Central Valley for more pickleball courts and introducing people to the exciting sport of padel,” University President Christopher Callahan said.
The complex is expected to open in the fall and UOP is planning a pickleball and padel tournament during it’s Pacific Homecoming and Family Weekend on Oct. 14.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, with a rise in players from 4.8 million in 2021 to 8.9 million in 2022 nationwide.
Although padel is relatively unknown in the U.S., with about 200 courts in the country, it is the second most-played sport in Spain, only second to soccer, and has spread throughout Europe and the Middle East.