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Entrepreneurs to make a big swing with the opening of region’s first pickleball-only indoor center

A $4 million indoor facility featuring 16 pickleball courts will open in Malvern this May. It’s planned to be the first of many.

The popularity of Pickleball, a recent hybrid of badminton, ping-pong and tennis, is exploding in this area. The paddles and balls used for the sport.
The popularity of Pickleball, a recent hybrid of badminton, ping-pong and tennis, is exploding in this area. The paddles and balls used for the sport.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

It’s the real dill, people: the region’s first stand-alone indoor pickleball facility is opening this spring.

After years of filling up unbooked courts at tennis complexes and setting up temporary nets and boundary markers at community centers, pickleball lovers will finally have a home when the winter weather freezes outdoor play.

» READ MORE: The great Chestnut Hill pickleball wars

Led by entrepreneurs Talen Singer and Bill Davis, Bounce Pickleball will be the area’s first fully-dedicated indoor pickleball center. The $4 million facility will open in Malvern in May and will feature 16 courts and instructional programs inside the 36,000-square-foot space.

“We’re really looking to use this asset to redefine and change what the pickleball community in Philadelphia is and make it accessible for people in the daytime and the nighttime. We want to make it as accessible as tennis,” Singer, 48, of Plymouth Meeting, said.

Located at the Great Valley Racquet Club at 10 N. Morehall Road, Bounce will offer court rentals, tournaments, various leagues, and “facility play,” which will allow members to square off against the country’s top pickleball players.

Originating in Bainbridge, Wash., in 1965, pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, Ping-Pong, and badminton that’s played on a 44-foot-long court. Players wield light-weight paddles to hit a plastic ball with perforated holes back and forth across a net until one side misses its mark.

It’s becoming an increasingly popular sport, with an estimated 5 million people taking to the courts.

Right now, there are about 2,000 regular Philadelphia pickleball players, according to Braden Keith, Bounce’s marketing and operations manager, who spoke to The Inquirer in a previous interview. But between Philly and the city’s surrounding suburbs, he said, there could be more than 10,000 players, and a place like Bounce can help forge them together.

“With 16 indoor courts, it’s going to allow us to sort of build a community the right way where everybody gets what they want and people don’t have to jump into some version of pickleball that they don’t want,” Keith, 35, of Center City, said. “We can give every segment of the community what they want because of the space, and we’re hoping that it really solidifies some of the momentum that the sport has had overall.”

That number includes at least two Philadelphia Eagles. On a recent episode of his podcast, New Heights, Jason Kelce — along with his cohost, brother, and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and their guest, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes — discussed an affinity for the sport.

“We’re big pickleball in Philadelphia,” said Jason Kelce, though he made clear that his teammates don’t always abide by the sport’s rule book.

“Jordan Mailata is 6-foot-9, is serving overhand to me,” he said. (For the record, official stats list the Eagles offensive tackle as being 6-foot-8). “I’m like, bro, this is not acceptable.” Overhand serves are illegal in pickleball.

“We have to get a team going,” said Travis. “It’s going to be an Olympic sport eventually.”


Until then, there’s Bounce. Memberships will be available starting in March and will be tailored to people’s availability and play style, Singer said.

Membership fees will start at $125 a year for open-play members and $225 a year for general members. A founders membership, limited to 50 people, offers added access and perks for $3,450 a year. Singer said the number of accepted Bounce members will be limited to about 700 people (and possibly more) to give Great Valley Racquet Club members a chance to join.

» READ MORE: Two years ago, his store was on fire. Now, Nick Sirianni wears his shirts.

Singer and Davis plan to open more facilities across the region in the next two years. And along with the spread of pickleball in the Philly area, Singer said he wants to spotlight the racket community as a whole.

“It’s a pickleball-only facility, but all the tennis places should benefit from this, too,” he said. “We’re trying to grow the entire racket community. We’re not just trying to make pickleball happen – we want all the racket sports to succeed.”