NOLA’s Only Standalone Pickleball Venue to Open in Time for National Pickleball Day

The Exchange, Louisiana’s first standalone Pickleball facility, prepares to open in early August 2023. Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country and The Exchange will be the hub for all things Pickleball in New Orleans. The Exchange is a totally unique space in the city featuring six air-conditioned indoor Pickleball courts, an outdoor court, plus specialty cocktails, excellent food, and other games like ping pong and corn hole. One-on-one pickleball lessons, clinics, open play, and social and corporate events will also be available.

Pickleball Isn’t New…

Pickleball may be a new buzzword in sports right now, but it’s not new! The game was created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell while on vacation on Bainbridge Island, WA. The two wanted to play badminton but couldn’t find the rackets. Instead they played with ping pong paddles and pickleball was born! The game is beloved by many different people because it’s easy to learn, quick to play, and only as competitive as you want it to be. Pickleball is a great sport for beginners and people of all different athletic abilities.

Pickleball is considered the fastest growing sport in the United States with approximately 14% of Americans 18 years and up having played pickleball between August 2021 – August 2022. That means there are about 36.5 million pickleball players nationwide!

National Pickleball Day

Opening in early August, The Exchange’s family friendly venue will be ready for visitors before August 8th – National Pickleball Day, which coincides with the Brees Dream Foundation’s “NOLA Pickleball Fest” on August 10-13th.

Meet our Leadership Team

Need to learn the game? The Exchange’s Head of Pickleball Operations is Certified IPTPA Pickleball Instructor Scott Robinson. Robinson is a dill-ight on the courts! He joins The Exchange after 25 years of experience teaching tennis. His tennis coaching experience includes working as the Assistant Women’s Tennis Coach at Tulane University, Assistant Tennis Director at Cross Gates, Head Coach Nicholls University, and Head Coach at Country Day School when the team won 3 state championships!

Robinson will direct The Exchange’s overall programming and teach private lessons, clinics, and junior programming, as well as organize leagues, ladders, and social events. His main goal is to make Pickleball fun for everyone, regardless of age, experience, or athletic ability. Robinson will be hiring assistant pros and coordinating with national guest pros to round out the teaching program at The Exchange.

“I have been teaching tennis for most of my life but find Pickleball to offer greater opportunities to a broader population. It’s easy to learn, fun to play, and is well suited for people of all different athletic abilities,”

-Scott Robinson, Pickleball Pro

It’s About The Dink AND Dine

It’s not just about pickleball. The Exchange has great food too! The food and beverage program will be overseen by General Manager Phil Papillion. Coming from a family of restaurateurs across Louisiana, Papillion has always had a deep relationship with food. With multiple years of food and beverage experience throughout Louisiana, Papillion brings a focus on operations and customer service to The Exchange. He worked in various concepts and venues covering multiple food types from Creole to Jamaican before starting his career with Messina’s Catering and Events, who will be providing the food and beverage service in partnership with the Exchange. As General Manager for The Exchange, Papillion will focus not only on the operations of the venue but also making the guest experience one to remember. He hopes all his guests will relish the moments they share at The Exchange.

Joining the team as the Catering Sales Manager, Kaya Koban is a New Orleans native. Kaya has been in the hospitality industry since 2004 and is a graduate of the University of New Orleans’ hospitality program. She has extensive hospitality experience in Louisiana and internationally. Kaya brings a customer first attitude and fun event ideas to The Exchange. As the Catering Sales Manager for The Exchange, Kaya will focus on helping you create dill-icious events. She can help you make any corporate event, bachelor(ette) party, or birthday a night to savor.

The Exchange is the only dedicated pickleball facility in Louisiana that combines both indoor and outdoor courts with food, drinks, and live music. Bringing pickleball to New Orleans just makes sense: what’s a better pair than sip + serve? The Exchange combines a love of sports and NOLA-style entertainment to create an incredible experience for New Orleans residents and tourists alike.

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