Expansion of the Padel Phenomenon: The Sweden Case
The padel fever has exploded in several European countries and is spreading by leaps and bounds overseas and in Asia, where attention to the sport is increasing and where investors are beginning to see great growth potential, hoping that the movement will spread as it has in Europe.
There is, however, one country where the growth of padel between 2018 and 2021 has been impressive and which has now become a real case study for all other countries that want to invest in the sport: we are talking about Sweden, a country that has seen a crazy increase in the number of padel courts thanks to the interest generated during the pandemic period, then fueled by large investments from the private sector and the impetus given by well-known public figures who have promoted the discipline.
Between 2019 and 2021, the growth of courts was 388%, while in 2022 there was a further increase of 37% bringing the total number of facilities to 4,200. A figure that, about the population, is higher than even Italy and especially Spain.
However, as predicted, this trend could not last for long, so much so that in recent months Sweden has seen a gradual saturation of the padel court market.
According to Playtomic's Global Padel Report, Sweden has reached full maturity, ahead of even Spain and Italy.
As shown in the graph, the analysis shows that the space for installing padel courts has been shrinking year by year until it has completely disappeared. In Sweden, the explosion of supply has exceeded the demand, and it is clear that the calculations were not done correctly at the time. It was not surprising to see empty and unoccupied courts in Sweden in 2022 and 2023, not because padel fever had suddenly disappeared, but simply because there were too many of them compared to the population and investors continued to order and install courts without taking into account that the market was close to saturation.
About 600 courts have been dismantled in recent months and resold and installed in other countries, and the situation seems to have finally stabilized.
Sweden has now become a case study and could provide important clues to other countries about the future of the market, as the growth curve of the fields will inevitably tend to flatten out in the coming years.
This is not to say that the padel phenomenon will disappear. On the contrary, the number of people playing the sport is constantly increasing, as is the passion and interest in the industry. With this data, we simply want to point out that the number of courts in a country must be in line with demand and proportionate to the population and its needs.