The Midwest’s first sports facility for a tennis-like game called padel arrives in Mundelein.
A company called Padel Haus plans to open in a vacant industrial building at 939 Tower Road as early as October. Seven indoor courts are planned; four outdoor courts could be added.
It will be the largest indoor padel facility in the United States, company representative Rudi Kalil said in an email.
“Mundelein is perfectly situated to cover the existing racquet sports communities in the city, the north shore and also the western suburbs,” Kalil said.
The village council on Monday approved a zoning waiver that will allow Padel Haus to operate on the approximately 3-acre site.
Invented in Mexico in 1969, padel is usually played in doubles on a closed court much smaller than a tennis court and covered with artificial grass.
The score is the same as in tennis and the balls are similar. But the balls can be played on the glass walls, like in squash, and the racquets are solid but perforated.
“(It’s) easy to play, gentle on the body and super fun,” Kalil said.
The game is particularly popular in Spain and Latin America. It was introduced to the United States in Houston in 1993, according to the United States Padel Association, the sport’s national governing body.
The United States now has around 160 padel courts, and that number is expected to double this year, the group’s website says. Padel clubs exist in Texas, Florida, California, Nevada and other states.
Mundelein’s board approved the zoning waiver on Monday without any discussion. The directors were enthusiastic about the plan following a presentation by Kalil in June.
“That’s nice,” trustee Kara Lambert said at the time. “This is so cool.”
Administrator Sol Cabachuela called the project “really exciting”.
Rather than requiring expensive subscriptions, Padel Haus will let people pay every 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 venture and will use the club as a product testing center, according to Kalil.