June 21, 2024
The Hub also offers drop-in play for popular sport.

Behind Campbell’s old Fry’s Electronics building is a new 57,000-square-foot private membership pickleball facility with 20 indoor courts, a pro shop and a players’ lounge. The Hub Pickleball: Silicon Valley opened on Aug. 1.

“We’re excited to open The Hub Pickleball: Silicon Valley and offer the Bay Area community a premier place to play,” said co-owner Pat Rolfes. “We have something for everyone, from beginners to experienced players.”

The fast-growing racket sport has taken over the country and launched a professional major league with investors including LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Anheuser-Busch was the first Fortune 500 company to purchase a Major League Pickleball team in November 2022.

A pickleball court measures 20 by 44 feet, the same size as a doubles badminton court. The sport involves two or four players hitting a plastic ball over a nearly 3-foot-high net.

More than 36.5 million people played pickleball between August 2021 and August 2022, according a recent report from the Association of Pickleball Professionals.

“Pickleball is so easy to play,” said Cecile Bellito, co-owner of the Toadal Fitness chain of gyms in the Santa Cruz area. “I’ve been playing with my teenage son. It is so much fun, it’s just a hoot.”

“People are coming to play in droves,” said Mike Fox, general manager of The Hub Pickleball: Silicon Valley. “I’m just so excited that we’re bringing this to the Bay Area. There’s nothing like it.”

The Hub is a private membership club but does allow drop-in play when space is available. The courts accommodate open play with partners of a similar skill set and will offer lessons, clinics, tournaments, parties and work events.

In pickleball, the same court is typically used for both singles and doubles play. According to Fox, The Hub Pickleball: Silicon Valley is the only facility currently offering 15-foot-wide courts especially created for single players, instead of the standard 20-foot-wide court.

“We have a lot of challenge courts that are designated by player level because people like to play with people of similar levels,” Fox said.

Each pickleball court is individually fenced, he added, which helps players keep track of stray balls and doesn’t interrupt neighboring teams’ play.

Courts can be constructed specifically for pickleball, or they can be converted using existing tennis or badminton courts.

The Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos resurfaced two of its tennis courts in 2022 with both tennis and pickleball striping. Four pickleball courts can fit into one tennis court.

The Hub’s “courts have big, great surfaces and great nets,” said Fox. “The paint and the backgrounds are made so that the ball will really stand out for the players. We’ve also put in soundproofing materials into mitigating the noise.”

Pickleball-related noise complaints have made headlines recently, with those living close to the courts feeling tormented by the metronome of balls hitting paddles, and some even suing local parks and private clubs in a last-ditch effort to stop the noise pollution.

Fox also said that the indoor courts at The Hub Silicon Valley are all lighted and climate-controlled, making them ideal for year-round play away from the sun and wind.

“Playing inside would help people remain consistent with exercise when the weather turns bad,” said Bellito. “Playing indoors creates a camaraderie; it creates a community. You can share contact information; you can make new friends.”

“We will be catering to people who want to have fun and people who really want to get better at pickleball,” said Fox.

The Hub Pickleball: Silicon Valley is located at 600 E. Hamilton Ave, suite 150, in Campbell. For membership and drop-in play information, visit https://thehubpickleball.com/the-hub-silicon-valley.