Padel Tennis

In 2023, we began to study the growing popularity of padel tennis (padel) which is now the world’s fastest-growing racquet sport.

What is padel tennis?

Imagine tennis and squash meet and have a child called padel who thinks like a chess player. This doubles sport is played on a 20m x 10m glass and steel court indoors or outdoors. Padel tennis or simply ‘padel’ is easy to learn and very sociable, as you always play in a doubles format. Tennis coaches have told us that it can take many hours before a tennis beginner begins feeling comfortable on a tennis court, but they only need an hour to get someone enjoying rallies on a padel court. It is also an ideal intergenerational activity that brings people of all ages together which means it has the potential to get more people, more active.

Image of a padel court in a stunning setting in Seville, Spain

Image caption: Stunning setting for the padel tournament in Seville, Spain

What is driving padel’s global post-pandemic surge?

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a surge in the popularity of various sports that not only provide health benefits but also serve as a means of social connectivity. Padel is one of these sports which has rapidly gained traction and has become a poster child of this trend.

Matching people with padel courts

Padel began internationalising during the 1970s, especially across Spain, where more than 15,000 courts can now be found, equivalent to approximately 323 courts for every one million people. Only Sweden has a higher padel court penetration (402 courts for every one million people) in a country where around one in every 14 Swedes now plays padel. At the end of 2023, there were fewer than 350 Padel courts across the UK which is a modest four courts per million people. This means there is presently an opportunity to build and operate new padel courts but developed in a considered and intelligent way which minimises the over-expansion witnessed in Sweden and Finland.

This chart shows the number of courts per one million of population across 12 European countries with Sweden topping the list and Germany at the bottom with just 3 courts per one million people.

Image caption: The present UK supply of padel courts lags well behind all other major European markets

Opportunities for sustainable growth with sports clubs and the wider leisure sector

There might be an exciting opportunity to engage more people in a sport with the potential to span different generations. However, this requires careful matching of the appropriate indoor and outdoor infrastructure with people both players, and coaches. A strategic approach is vital to ensure that the proliferation of new Padel facilities does not surpass demand, a reality reflected by the closure of some centres in Sweden, where excessive expansion led to existing centres being cannibalised by newer ones and the closure of several padel centres.

Exploring the rise of padel in the UK: A forthcoming report from Oxygen Consulting

Our forthcoming report written for an investor, real estate, entrepreneur, and leisure sector audience delves into whether the UK is now ready to embrace this sociable racquet sport and explore emerging business models and co-locating sports, leisure, and hospitality opportunities.

The report will cover:

  • Different padel business operating models
  • Financial analysis and property appraisals
  • Reviews of leading UK padel operators
  • Opportunities for the wider health and fitness industry
  • A large new UK study into what motivates players to the sport
  • Polling the UK public to understand awareness of padel and propensity to play
  • Assessments of different padel growth scenarios in the UK to guide court infrastructure investments.

Padel consultancy support

Oxygen Consulting can support your organisation by creating detailed feasibility and viability studies for your proposed padel development. We can also advise on the most effective operating model along with introductions to a padel operating partner if this is your preferred option.

If you are planning to develop a padel facility and need expert consultancy support, Oxygen Consulting can help you. Our team can provide you with a detailed feasibility and viability study to ensure that your project meets your objectives and returns the expected results. We can also assist you in selecting the most effective operating model based on your requirements and preferences. Additionally, we can help you connect with a commercial padel operating partner if you prefer to outsource the development and long-term operation and management of the padel courts. With our consultancy support, you can make informed decisions and achieve success in your padel development project.

This image shows the population of people living within a 5 to 15 minutes drive of a Champneys health report

Image caption: Assessing the padel centre drive-time population

Design, finance, build and operate padel courts

Oxygen Consulting has established a new strategic partnership with Espalier Ventures, a successful family investment office based in Brighton. This collaboration opens the door to exploring comprehensive funding solutions for your padel project through a design, finance, build, and operate model. This unique approach not only facilitates the creation of new padel facilities but also offers your organisation the opportunity to generate annual rental income. We are committed to carefully assessing each project, starting with an initial submission of your project’s outline through the form provided below.


Oxygen Quarterly

Subscribe to Oxygen Quarterly

Sign up here
Brand image for Gymtopia

Global launch of Gymtopia

Gymtopia is a digital story telling platform capturing the social impact projects powered by the global health and fitness industry. The project is now live and already features inspiring stories from the United States, United Kingdom, Argentina and Mexico. Please visit Gymtopia and get your organisation involved.