Coppermine Looks To Expand Pickleball Access With Facilities In Reisterstown, Towson And White Marsh


The new Copper Union facility in Reisterstown. (Credit: Coppermine/ Copper Union)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Coppermine, a significant player in Maryland's youth sports, camps, and family fitness since 2011, has unveiled its new venture, Copper Union. With this move, Coppermine aims to tap into the booming pickleball trend, creating a dedicated social brand for adults, complete with a string of restaurant and entertainment venues statewide. Copper Union seeks to satisfy the rising demand for pickleball, a sport projected to have more than 40 million players globally by 2030.

A report from the Association of Pickleball Professionals indicates a dramatic surge in pickleball's popularity, with player numbers jumping from 5 million to over 36 million in the year leading up to August 2022. This uptick has sparked a nationwide transformation of tennis courts into pickleball facilities, with a reported shortfall of pickleball courts given the sport's rapid growth.

According to Alex Jacobs, Coppermine's owner, Coppermine is eager to address this demand in Maryland and the surrounding region.

"Given the rapid explosion in pickleball's popularity, it's no surprise that the region is racing to catch up to the demand," Jacobs said. "Coppermine has an undeniably strong track record of not only building brands to support the community's need for recreation – whether it be sports programs and club teams, camps, or health & fitness facilities, but of developing premium physical spaces to accommodate them. If more than 40 million pickleball players worldwide are predicted by 2030, that means almost 280,000 additional courts will need to be built to meet demand. We're in a great position to help meet some of those needs right here in Maryland and across the region."

Coppermine's existing facilities at Bare Hills, Pikesville, and 4 Seasons already offer indoor and outdoor pickleball courts. However, the first two flagship Copper Union venues are now under construction in Reisterstown and Annapolis. Further plans are underway for locations in Mt. Washington, Odenton, South Baltimore, Towson, White Marsh, and Bel Air.

A mobile app aptly named "Join the Union" will allow players to book pickleball courts at any Coppermine location up to a month in advance.

Copper Union's event programming is scheduled to begin this summer, with the first phase of venues opening in the fall. A signature feature of these venues will be the Fire in the Kitchen restaurant and bar. Named after the high-intensity center area of a pickleball court, this new dining concept will offer a creative grill menu, bar options, and a mix of healthy and indulgent foods.

Chip Watkins, Managing Partner of Copper Union, expects the new venues to become social hubs for meetings, leagues, happy hours, and weekend family sessions, along with their role as a pickleball facility. The attractive décor, food, beverage options, and event programming should attract customers and engage the local communities.

"Beyond the courts, we are expecting to see people multiple times a week for meetings, leagues, happy hours, and social events, then back on the weekend for a session with family. Great food and beverage options, comfortable decor, exciting entertainment, and event programming will draw in customers beyond the courts and engage the surrounding communities," Watkins said.

The launch of Copper Union is also set to bring significant job opportunities to the area. The Equity Project (EQ), a workforce development program, is already working on training the large staff required to run these venues, aiming to provide equitable job opportunities for all Maryland residents.

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