(Bloomberg) -- Still have yet to pick up pickleball? Padel, another racket sport, is coming to Midtown Manhattan and making a play for your leisure time as one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide.
Reserve NYC Hudson opens on Monday, June 26, on 360 10th Ave. at 30th St., with three glass-walled courts and a clubhouse built on an empty lot between Hudson Yards and Manhattan West. The site has long been controlled by Frank McCourt, the real estate mogul and former Los Angeles Dodgers owner, who proposed building a 61-story skyscraper there; it was last an Equinox in the Wild outdoor gym during the pandemic.
Wayne Boich, founder and chief executive officer of Reserve, says the location—which has curious onlookers from the High Line above and is on a busy pedestrian corridor between Moynihan Train Hall and Penn Station and the far West Side—was ideal for Manhattan’s first padel club.
“It’s very vibrant with lots of folks running around each day,” he says. “It will bring a lot of awareness to the game. That’s the most important piece of this in the city.”
The New York padel club will feature a grab-and-go cafe from Pura Vida—the popular South Florida health food chain—private restrooms, lockers and a comprehensive pro shop stocking limited-edition branded apparel and equipment from leading manufacturers such as Wilson. The club will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. All courts must be reserved online in advance.
Initial pricing for the public is dynamic and starts at $50 to $75 per person per hour (so $200 to $300 for a game, given padel is played in doubles), with membership discounts to be determined. New York membership will open in July.
This is the second location for Reserve, which opened a padel club at the Miami Seaplane Base in February that’s drawn celebrity athletes including Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, David Beckham and Venus Williams. A year earlier, Boich and his team put on the Blockchain.com Miami Padel Open, which has since remained North America’s largest padel tournament, according to the company.
More than 25 million people play padel in over 90 countries, according to the International Padel Federation. Invented in Mexico in 1969, and described as a mixture of squash and tennis, the sport has trended in Spain and Argentina for decades. It shares the same scoring system as tennis but is played on a court about a third the size, with the four enclosing walls helping keep the ball in play. Players (two-on-two) use perforated, hard-plastic paddles and a tennis-like ball that’s smaller in size.
In the US, the fast gameplay and novelty has spurred growing interest in the sport. There are now approximately 260 padel courts, including both public and private ones, according to Marcos Del Pilar, president of the US Padel Association, with almost 40 facilities and more than 20 new projects opening in the coming months.
“Initially it would be me going out trying to find places to build potential Reserve facilities at,” says Boich, who has a joint venture with a court-making company. “But now we’re getting calls incoming about people pitching us to put Reserve at their facilities.”
RedPadel, an official player-rating system of the USPA, estimates there will be 10,000 players in 2024 and 30,000 in 2025 on the platform, up from 950 today.
Pro Padel League, North America’s first professional circuit, on June 22 signed New York as an expansion team, the league’s eighth. With its home in the largest sports market in North America, it has a valuation into the seven figures. That same day the league’s inaugural championship finals kicked off at Padel Haus, the city’s other public padel club, which opened in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood last June.
Wayne acknowledges that they “owe the folks in Brooklyn a thank-you” for helping raise awareness of the sport.
Reserve NYC Hudson is joining with the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards for so-called Stay and Play padel packages, as well as offering special access and events for Equinox’s gym members. Casa Cipriani, the luxury hotel and private club located in Lower Manhattan, is another partner, with coming events to teach members the game.
The Midtown padel club has an open-ended lease with McCourt Global Inc., through April 2024, with a potential opportunity to extend. As for the winter? Tenting it is under consideration.
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