First college-based Pickleball/Padel complex opens Friday at Pacific

University of the Pacific opens first Pickleball/Padel complex on an American college campus.

University of the Pacific's Pickleball/Padel complex opens Friday, Feb. 23. 

University of the Pacific and the San Diego-based Taktika Padel are days away from bringing the world’s fastest-growing sports to the university with the opening of the first pickleball and padel complex on an American college campus.

Pacific will host a news conference, ribbon-cutting and grand opening at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at the new facility located just north of the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center on the Stockton Campus.

The courts will be open after the ceremony for the public to play pickleball, free of charge, and to watch the 2024 Chosen Foods Circuit Stockton Tournament, the first United States Padel Association tournament in Northern California.

“We are thrilled about the partnership between Pacific and Gabriel Perez Krieb, a brilliant and innovative thinker and collaborator who brought this idea to us less than a year ago,” said President Christopher Callahan. “The new complex will benefit our students and campus community while serving the insatiable desire for more pickleball facilities across our region and bringing the exciting sport of padel to all.”

Reservations can be made for play starting Saturday, Feb. 24, for the eight pickleball courts and Monday, Feb. 26 for the four padel courts. Community members can reserve courts during the day using the Playbypoint app and searching "Taktika Padel Stockton." Students, faculty and staff will have exclusive, free access daily from 6 to 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“We are honored to partner with the University of the Pacific and President Callahan,” said Krieb, chairman and co-founder of Taktika Padel and executive chairman of Chosen Foods. “This project will go in the record books as the first university in the world with dedicated tennis, padel and pickleball facilities.

“More importantly, we want to partner with communities that love racket sports and we believe the city of Stockton and the Central Valley of California are going to thrive with this beautiful facility."

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S., nearly doubling in a year from 4.8 million players in 2021 to 8.9 million in 2023. It has expanded from an activity popular among seniors to growing among younger adults, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

Padel remains little known in the U.S., with only about 200 courts, mostly at private residences. But the sport, which started in Mexico in the late 1960s and grew in popularity in Spain in the 1980s, is now exploding across Europe, the Middle East and other regions of the world. It is the second most-played sport in Spain, behind only soccer.

Krieb said while pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., padel is the fastest growing globally, with an estimated 30 million players worldwide in more than 90 countries.

Deloitte, the global consulting firm, said in its 2023 Global Padel Report that there are already nearly 40,000 padel courts internationally–more than double since 2019–and Deloitte projects that to more than double again to 85,000 in the next three years.

Ryan Redondo, CEO of Taktika Padel, which is the leading padel operator in the Western U.S., said the Pacific partnership is central to the company’s plan to open 200 publicly accessible padel courts on the West Coast within the next two years. The Pacific venue would be only the fourth public padel courts in California and the first in Northern California, according to

“Since Taktika’s inception, we have said that our driving motivation is to bring padel to as many different communities as possible so that everyone has the opportunity to experience this exhilarating sport for themselves,” Redondo said. “This unique Pacific partnership provides us the springboard to do just that, and to embrace the popularity pickleball has already had in the United States with the popularity padel has had overseas.

“Our partnership with University of the Pacific is an American first, and I’m confident will pave the way for other college campuses to embrace these two insurgent racket sports as they gain popularity across our country.”

The majority of Taktika Padel’s ownership group also has invested in the San Diego Stingrays, one of the original seven franchises of the newly formed Pro Padel League, which debuted in Tampa earlier this summer.

Padel is often described as a hybrid of tennis, pickleball and squash. The court is about one-third the size of a tennis court with a 3-foot-high net and fully enclosed by 16-foot-high glass walls. The scoring is the same as used in tennis, yet the sport, like pickleball, is considered inclusive and accessible given the speed with which players can reach a reasonable standard of play.

Under the unique partnership with Pacific, Taktika Padel constructed and will operate and maintain the complex, which was built on a plot of unused university land adjacent to the Zimmerman Tennis Center and a practice soccer field.

The university will receive a portion of Taktika Padel’s gross revenue from the complex.

“This unique and powerful partnership will serve the Pacific community by providing two exciting new sports for our students to play while filling a great need in the Central Valley for more pickleball courts and introducing people to the exciting sport of padel,” Callahan said.

Callahan added that the revenue share from the Taktika Padel partnership will help support and grow Pacific’s men’s and women’s tennis programs, which compete in the West Coast Conference. The 12-court Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center, built in 2017 with a generous gift from Regent Eve Zimmerman ‘84, a former Pacific and pro tennis player, is already considered the best tennis venue in the conference.

About Taktika Padel

Taktika was established to provide comprehensive industry related production ranging from the installation of Padel courts to facility management and the development of programs and tournaments. Targeting the Western United States, Taktika’s founders include San Diego entrepreneurs Gabriel Perez Krieb, Armando Rodiel, Ascan Lutteroth, Ińigo Gonzalez Covarrubias, Francesco D'Arcangelo and Ryan Redondo. Taktika’s first established club, Taktika Padel, is based out of the award-winning Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Home to one of the most successful tennis programs and centers in the world, the Barnes Tennis Center hosts an ATP 250 and WTA 500 level professional tennis tournament. Taktika’s second facility opened at the Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the Major League Soccer team, LA Galaxy, in Carson, California. For more information, visit: