At 60 years old, Jim Faruki never imagined he'd be taking up a new sport, but this part-time tax specialist spends most of his lunch breaks on the pickleball courts outside Walter Reed Community Center in Arlington, Virginia. And Faruki always finds someone new to play with.
"Once you get on this court, I don't care who you are, it's all about the sport," Faruki said between games on a recent Tuesday morning.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. But with the sport's popularity, there's been a shortage of courts to play on.
According to Pickleheads.com, there are an estimated 36.5 million players across the U.S. Experts believe that the country needs more than 25,000 courts just to meet demand.
In order to meet that demand, some players are now turning to their own backyards as a way of keeping up — constructing at-home courts, often to the tune of $30,000 to $40,000.
"It's crazy how much [the sport] exploded and it hasn't stopped," said Matthew Magner, owner of World Class Courts.
Magner said he and his team have built hundreds of pickleball courts in the last eight years. But recently, they've been building more and more private courts for homeowners in their backyards.
Typically, Magner said an at-home pickleball court requires an area of 60 feet by 35 feet for construction. Aside from the cost of asphalt, fencing often greatly determines the cost of a court.
"It's definitely been an increase to our business. We used to only add pickleball lines to tennis courts," he added. "Now there is more of a demand [for people] to construct their own courts."
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