The 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships took place on November 5th-12th, 2023 at the Brookhaven Country Club in the greater Dallas region. How did the event impact traffic to the venue? And did the audience at this year’s pickleball championship compare to attendees in 2022, when the event was held in California? We dove into the data to find out.
Brookhaven Country Club – A Haven for Pickleball
The Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Texas, hosted two pickleball events in November. The MLP Dallas Tournament from November 2nd to 5th, and the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championship from November 5th to 12th (with the actual competition starting on November 6th), and both events brought a surge of visits to the country club. At its peak, during the Pickleball National Championships semifinals, on Saturday, November 11th, the club saw a 607.3% increase in visits compared to an October 16th 2023 baseline.
Who Came Out for the Championship?
Both the MLP Dallas Tournament and the USA Pickleball National Championship brought a new crowd to the Brookhaven Country Club. Between May and October 2023, the Brookhaven Country Club tended to attract visitors from trade areas where the median HHI was $153.4K, the median age was 41.2, and the share of households with children was 29.7%. But during the MLP Dallas Tournament and during the Pickleball Championship, the club’s trade area skewed younger – with median ages of 37.2 and 37.7, respectively – and included fewer households with children. And on the days of the pickleball events, the median household income (HHI) in the club’s trade area was slightly lower than usual, while still remaining significantly higher than the wider Texas average.
Comparing to 2022’s Pickleball Championship
This is the first year that the USA Pickleball Championship was held in the greater Dallas area, following years of the championship taking place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden near Palm Springs, CA. And location intelligence indicates that while some visit metrics remained similar, the move to the Brookhaven Country Club did have a major impact on the championship’s audience makeup.
Both championships had a similar rate of returning visitors, with 44.0% and 39.9% of people visiting the Indian Wells Tennis Garden or the Brookhaven Country Club, respectively, at least twice during the championship. The slightly lower rate of returning visitors for the 2023 championship could be due to the competition’s relatively shorter duration.
But the audience makeup for the two events was quite different – the 2022 Championship in California drew visitors from a trade area with very few households with children – 15.1%, compared to 27.4% of households with children for the Dallas area 2023 competition. Instead, almost half of the trade area of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden during the 2022 championship was made up of two-person households (44.7%), compared to just over a third (34.6%) of households during the 2023 event in Texas.
The 2022 championship also drew many more visitors from far away, with 62.1% of attendees traveling over 100 miles to the venue during the week of the event, driving a 684.8% increase in average daily visits. At the 2023 championship, just 31.9% of attendees visited from 100+ miles away in 2023 – and the Brookhaven Country Club visits grew by an average of 199.0% a day during the event. And while Texas as a whole has a lower median HHI than California, the median HHI in the trade area of the 2022 California-based pickleball championship was significantly lower than that in the 2023 Texas-based event.
As pickleball’s popularity continues to grow, what will be the turnout to the 2024 championship?
Tune into placer.ai/blog to find out.