'This is so cool': Midwest's first facility for tennis-like sport padel coming to Mundelein

  • A company called Padel Haus plans to open an athletic facility at 939 Tower Road in Mundelein. It will be the Midwest's first facility for the tennis-like sport that's popular in Spain and Latin America.

    A company called Padel Haus plans to open an athletic facility at 939 Tower Road in Mundelein. It will be the Midwest's first facility for the tennis-like sport that's popular in Spain and Latin America. Courtesy of Mundelein

  • The Midwest's first facility for the tennis-like sport padel is coming to Mundelein. Padel Haus is expected to open at 939 Tower Road as soon as October.

    The Midwest's first facility for the tennis-like sport padel is coming to Mundelein. Padel Haus is expected to open at 939 Tower Road as soon as October. Courtesy of Mundelein

 
 
Updated 7/12/2022 2:22 PM

The Midwest's first athletic facility for a tennis-like game called padel is coming to Mundelein.

A company called Padel Haus plans to open in a vacant, industrial building at 939 Tower Road as soon as October. Seven indoor courts are planned; four outdoor courts could be added.

 

It'll be the largest indoor padel facility in the U.S., company representative Rudi Kalil said in an email.

"Mundelein is perfectly located to cover the existing racquet sports communities from the city, the North Shore and also the West suburbs," Kalil said.

The village board on Monday approved a zoning variance that will allow Padel Haus to operate at the roughly 3-acre site.

Invented in Mexico in 1969, padel typically is played in doubles on an enclosed court that's much smaller than a tennis court and topped with artificial turf.

Scoring is the same as tennis and the balls are similar. But the balls can be played off the glass walls, as in squash, and rackets are solid but perforated.

"(It's) easy to play, easy on the body and super fun," Kalil said.

The game is especially popular in Spain and Latin America. It was introduced to the U.S. in Houston in 1993, according to the United States Padel Association, the national governing body for the sport.

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The U.S. now has an estimated 160 padel courts, and that number is expected to double this year, the group's website indicates. Padel clubs exist in Texas, Florida, California, Nevada and other states.

The Mundelein board approved the zoning variance Monday without any discussion. Trustees were enthusiastic about the plan following a presentation by Kalil in June.

"This is sweet," Trustee Kara Lambert said at the time. "This is so cool."

Trustee Sol Cabachuela called the project "really exciting."

Rather than requiring expensive memberships, Padel Haus will let people pay each time they play.

"The idea is to be as inclusive as possible," Kalil said.

Additionally, Padel Haus will invite local schools to bring students to the facility for free so they can learn the sport, Kalil said.

Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods will be a partner in the business and will use the club as a product test center, according to Kalil.

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