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Featured Pickler: Ambitious expansion plans for Tampa Bay Pickleball

Courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball
The Klaus brothers, Kennedy and Ben, along with their father Eric have ambitious expansion plans for Tampa Bay Pickleball.

Apparently, the idea for a pickleball facility by a local family went over so well that there will be more to come. Plenty more — in Florida as well as out-of-state.

Tampa Bay Pickleball, which consists of six air-conditioned indoor courts in a warehouse at the Oldsmar Flea Market, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with

an April 27-28 tournament.

The local company was founded by Eric Klaus and his two sons — Kennedy, a junior at the University of Alabama, and Alonso High senior Ben.

Ambitious expansion plans are in the works with some facilities nearing completion and others targeted for completion this year. Even more are being considered over the next few years.

“We went from doing this as a fun little project to wanting to open 5-10 of them within the next 6-12 months,” said Klaus, president of a financial group in Tampa. “You have

to have a building with the right ceiling height and the right dimensions.”

On the immediate horizon, a pickleball facility in Savannah, Ga. is slated to open sometime in May while sites in Lakeland and Greenville, S.C. are gearing up for June openings. Locations in Brandon, Wesley Chapel and South Tampa could follow by this summer.

“There are a lot of investors that want to pour money into the pickleball business,” Klaus said. “It’s the big trend. Pickleball is so popular.”

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball

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