More homeowners adding backyard pickleball courts as sport's popularity spikes

Over the past few years, pickleball's popularity has quickly exploded as cities scramble to build courts to meet demand. But its impact is now hitting the residential market too.

When Brian and Jenna Knoblauch started researching a backyard court for their kids, an interesting option popped up that piqued their interest.

"He said, 'You know, for a couple additional feet we could put in a full pickleball court,' and we said absolutely," Jenna explained.

So, over the course of three days, their backyard in Rogers not only transformed into a mecca for the neighborhood children for basketball or hockey, but by also making it a full-size pickleball court, it will no doubt attract the neighborhood moms and dads.

"Our neighbors are pretty excited to get on the pickleball court, as well, so I think we have some plans to do a little pickleball tournament with the neighborhood," Jenna added.

"Now because pickleball is so popular, that average-size court has gotten bigger," commented Craig Jones, the owner of Sport Court Minnesota.

He says the explosion in pickleball in the past few years, played by all ages but especially appealing to an older demographic, has brought a huge change to their backyard business along with it.

"Our age bracket that we’re selling to has gone up, the average size of that court has gone up," Jones shared.

Smaller courts for the kids used to be their bread and butter, but they say maybe nine out of the ten calls they get now ask about pickleball.

"We’ll be well over 100 courts this year, just in the Twin Cities," Jones told FOX 9.

With it, the average size court install is at least 50 percent larger. Business is up by 20 percent, and more customers don’t even have kids at home.

"We just wrapped up a court for an elderly lady who’s in her 70s. We’ve done multiple courts for people who are empty nesters. That never used to be the case," Jones said.

Across the Twin Cities, public tennis courts are being overhauled for pickleball. Indoor courts are constantly being built. Leagues have waiting lists. And now the backyards are becoming pulled into the craze.

"It sounds like a sport that a lot of couples are into right now. So I think I could see some competitive pickleball tournaments happening in our future within the neighborhood," Jenna predicted.