Sports Haus to offer pickleball, golf and padel in South Norwalk
NORWALK – Sports Haus, founded by four avid tennis players, is opening a former warehouse as an indoor padel, virtual golf and pickleball center coming this summer.
The founders – Juan Arraya, Patricio Misitrano, Mark Fischl and Mark Parsons – will open the 38,000-square-foot facility at 129 Woodward Ave. in July, according to Misitrano.
The converted building will consist of four pickleball courts, five courts for padel ball and two golf simulators, according to the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission, which approved the proposal unanimously in mid-November. The employment will initially be 10-12 full-time and part-time employees, but Misitrano said via email that Sports Haus hopes to hire up to 20 employees relatively soon.
“We are planning for a July 2023 opening,” Misitrano said. “Of course, it will depend on construction but the building is already standing so our timeline is somewhat limited.”
Pickleball’s popularity has expanded rapidly within the last three years or so, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, which reported an 85.7% increase in pickleball participation in 2022.
“The increase in pickleball has been growing tremendously over the last three years,” Misitrano said. “That means that the 4.8 million players are now 8.9 million players. Simply amazing.”
In Connecticut and New York, the Fairfield-Westchester Pickleball League, which is run by Arraya and Misitrano, had 1,400 players and now has 2,000, according to Misitrano. Additionally, the Association of Professional Pickleball reported that the players number approximately 36.5 million nationwide.
“One thing we know for sure,” Misitrano said, “…These numbers are incredible and don’t seem to be any signs of slowing down in the near future. The reality is that pickleball is very easy to learn and courts can be installed on a temporary basis for only a couple hundred dollars. The sport is very social and accessible to all. Our courts will be the only dedicated indoor pickleball courts in all Fairfield County.”
Arraya, Misitrano and Parsons all played tennis, but recently the three were all certified with the Professional Pickleball Registry. Arraya was rated sixth in the world in singles for pickleball but has been focusing more on padel and platform tennis. Both Arraya and Misitrano are on the United States Tennis Association League, and Arraya and Parsons have been as high as number one in the world for platform tennis and national championships. They are currently ranked sixth.
Elsewhere in Norwalk, the Rowayton train station has three pickleball courts facing the southside. Players will also find courts at at the Intensity Club on Westport Avenue and Bayley Beach. The Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department recently installed four public courts at Woodward Avenue Park; there are pickleball courts overlaying other courts at Nathan Hale Middle School, Ludlow Park, Matthews Park and the Norwalk Senior Center. According to resident Priscilla Feral, there are also pickleboard courts at the Rowayton Community Center.
Correction, 2:32 p.m., 4:51 p.m.: Location of pickleball courts.
Ken Hughes March 15, 2023 at 6:02 am
Correction: There are no courts at Calf Pasture. The public courts are as follows: 4 at Woodward, 2 at Nathan Hale (overlays), 2 at Ludlow (overlays), 2 at Mathews (overlays with lights) and 1 at the senior center.
Johnny cardamone March 15, 2023 at 9:02 am
I may have to take up sports! O