In more than 30 years of designing and installing bespoke sports structures for schools, clubs, local councils and private homes, never have we experienced a surge in interest for one individual sport such as this. It is fair to say that padel is booming and the rate at which new courts are being built is seriously lagging behind the demand to play. Fortunately, we can help with that!
We are relishing all the new padel projects coming in and marvelling at how quickly the brief goes from a modest 2 or 3 courts to a more ambitious 6 or 7 once word starts spreading within local communities about plans for development and membership enquiries start increasing.
For any sports club or venue looking to grow and build a sustainable business model for the future, padel makes perfect sense. It’s the ideal sociable activity and an excellent corporate team-building exercise. In fact, we hear that the padel court is overtaking the golf course as the most popular place to conduct an informal, albeit rather competitive business meeting. It’s easier to pick up at entry level and there’s less court to cover during rallies so it therefore appeals to a broad range of ages and physical ability. You can fit 2-3 padel courts into one tennis court so adding this facility to your premises can be a highly effective way of increasing revenue, especially if space is tight.
Typically the majority of our projects to date have been for outdoor court construction, especially for private clients who can be a bit pickier about when they choose to play but the bread and butter of our business is to design custom-made covered structures so it’s fair to say that we would recommend you go down that route. In fact, we are talking to more and more clubs at the moment about building indoor structures as the amount of revenue that is lost from cancellations owing to bad weather is significant. This winter has been especially bad with high winds, periods of continuous rain and sub-zero temperatures. Yes, indoor facilities are going to be more expensive upfront but the LTA conducted some research at the end of last year, which showed that lousy weather equates to a 30% reduction in tennis and padel play opportunities in the UK whereas utilisation increases by 50% when you add a canopy so the ROI is significantly greater.
We’ve also seen stats recently from the LTA that show the uptake of tennis has increased in the past year, which is fantastic but tennis clubs need to work hard to maintain this and padel is a great addition as part of a growth strategy. They may be similar sports but the two can sit alongside each other perfectly. Tennis clubs that have introduced padel have actually seen the uptake of tennis increase as well as people joining to play padel so it can give both sports a positive boost. It is great for clubs that may have a disused court or some additional space that doesn’t quite fit a new tennis court and since all padel games are played in doubles, just one old tennis court could be restored to enable up to 12 people to play padel at any one time. 12 people paying to play as opposed to just 4 in a tennis doubles match is a significant margin.
Of course, if the padel courts are covered then people are likely to keep coming back. A cover makes the sport totally immune to the elements of nature and members are always guaranteed play in comfortable conditions.
We get it, playing in the open air is uplifting but if the glare of the sun is too intense, the heat too extreme, the wind too strong, the humidity levels too high, the clouds too shadowy, the light too gloomy and the rain too wet then this can create a lot of nuisance, unwanted distraction, cancellations and put people off from booking to play on a regular basis. Covered courts give you an uninterrupted round-the-clock, round-the-year padel experience so the only disappointment will be for whoever loses their match but at least we can guarantee that match will go ahead.