If you’re a fan of pickleball, you may have heard about the recent expansion of Major League Pickleball (MLP) and the addition of new teams. But have you ever wondered how much it costs to own a Major League Pickleball team? According to sources familiar with the deals, the expansion fee for new franchises is $1 million, a significant increase from the $200,000 fee that was charged in 2024.
Despite the increase in fees, the interest in owning a Major League Pickleball team continues to grow, with celebrities such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James investing in teams. The expansion has allowed MLP to expand to 24 teams, with each team featuring two men and two women. The league now offers six events and $5 million in prize money for 2023, making it an attractive investment opportunity for those interested in the sport.
Factors Affecting Major League Pickleball Team Cost
When it comes to buying a Major League Pickleball team, there are several factors that can affect the cost. In this section, we will explore the three main factors that determine the cost of owning a Major League Pickleball team: location, facilities, and player salaries.
The location of your Major League Pickleball team can have a significant impact on the cost. Some cities have higher costs of living, which can make it more expensive to operate a team. Additionally, some cities have higher taxes or fees that can increase the cost of owning a team.
However, location can also affect the revenue potential of your team. Cities with larger populations or higher levels of interest in pickleball may be able to generate more revenue from ticket sales, sponsorships, and merchandise sales. Therefore, it’s important to consider both the cost and revenue potential when choosing a location for your Major League Pickleball team.
Facilities are another significant factor that affects the cost of owning a Major League Pickleball team. The cost of renting or buying a suitable facility can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the facility. Additionally, you may need to invest in upgrades or renovations to the facility to meet the standards of Major League Pickleball.
Some of the key facilities you’ll need to consider include the court, locker rooms, seating areas, and concessions. Depending on the location and size of the facility, you may also need to consider parking, security, and other amenities.
Player salaries are another significant factor that affects the cost of owning a Major League Pickleball team. The salaries for professional pickleball players can vary greatly depending on their skill level and experience. Additionally, you may need to pay for travel expenses, lodging, and other expenses for your players.
It’s important to consider the cost of player salaries when budgeting for your Major League Pickleball team. However, it’s also important to invest in talented players to ensure that your team is competitive and successful.
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Examples of Major League Pickleball Team Costs
If you’re interested in owning a Major League Pickleball team, it’s important to understand the costs involved. Here are two case studies that showcase the range of expenses you can expect.
Case Study 1: Successful Team in a Large Market
Let’s say you’re interested in purchasing an established Major League Pickleball team in a large market like Los Angeles or New York. In this scenario, you can expect to pay a premium for the team due to its established success and popularity.
Here are some potential costs to consider:
- Expansion fee: When Major League Pickleball launched in 2021, each team paid an expansion fee of $125,000. It’s possible that this fee could increase for future expansion teams.
- Player salaries: The average salary for a Major League Pickleball player is currently around $50,000 per year, but this number could increase as the league grows in popularity.
- Travel expenses: Teams must travel to various cities throughout the season, which can add up quickly. You’ll need to budget for airfare, hotel stays, and meals for the entire team.
- Marketing and advertising: To keep your team top of mind for fans, you’ll need to invest in marketing and advertising efforts. This could include everything from billboards and print ads to social media campaigns and influencer partnerships.
In total, you could be looking at a multi-million dollar investment if you’re interested in purchasing an established Major League Pickleball team in a large market.
Case Study 2: New Team in a Small Market
If you’re interested in starting a new Major League Pickleball team in a small market like Des Moines or Boise, your costs will likely be lower than those for an established team in a large market. However, you’ll still need to budget for several key expenses.
Here are some potential costs to consider:
- Expansion fee: As mentioned earlier, each team paid an expansion fee of $125,000 when Major League Pickleball launched in 2021. This fee could increase for future expansion teams.
- Player salaries: You’ll need to budget for player salaries, which will likely be lower than those for established teams in large markets.
- Travel expenses: While you won’t need to travel as frequently as established teams, you’ll still need to budget for airfare, hotel stays, and meals for the entire team.
- Marketing and advertising: You’ll need to invest in marketing and advertising efforts to build awareness for your new team. This could include everything from local billboards and print ads to social media campaigns and influencer partnerships.
In total, you could be looking at a six-figure investment if you’re interested in starting a new Major League Pickleball team in a small market.
Ways to Fund a Major League Pickleball Team
If you’re looking to fund a major league pickleball team, there are several ways you can do so. Here are some options to consider:
One way to fund your team is to seek out private investors. These are individuals or groups who are willing to invest money in your team in exchange for a share of the profits. You can find private investors by networking with people in your industry, attending conferences and events, or by using online crowdfunding platforms.
Another way to fund your team is through sponsorship deals. You can partner with companies who are willing to sponsor your team in exchange for exposure and marketing opportunities. This can include things like having the company’s logo on your team’s uniforms, advertising on your website and social media channels, and more.
Ticket sales can also be a significant source of revenue for your team. You can sell tickets to your matches and events and offer different pricing tiers for different seating areas. You can also offer season passes or other ticket packages to incentivize fans to attend multiple matches.
Merchandise sales can also be a lucrative source of revenue for your team. You can sell team-branded merchandise like t-shirts, hats, and other apparel, as well as other items like water bottles, bags, and more. You can sell these items at your matches and events, as well as online, through your website and social media channels.
Media Rights Deals
Finally, you can also generate revenue through media rights deals. This involves selling the rights to broadcast your matches and events to television networks, streaming services, and other media outlets. You can negotiate these deals directly with the networks and services or work with an agent or agency to help you secure the best possible deal.
Overall, there are many ways to fund a major league pickleball team. By exploring these different options and finding the right mix of funding sources for your team, you can build a successful and profitable franchise that will thrive for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the locations of major league pickleball teams?
As of 2023, there are only a few major league pickleball teams, and they are located in different cities across the United States. The current teams include the Chicago Fire, the New York Empire, the San Diego Aviators, and the Orange County Breakers. The league’s website provides more information on the teams and their respective locations.
What is the average ticket price for major league pickleball games?
The average ticket price for major league pickleball games can vary depending on the team and the location. However, according to sources, the average ticket price for a major league pickleball game is around $20 to $30 per person. Keep in mind that this is just an average, and some games may cost more or less than this amount.
Overall, the cost of owning a Major League Pickleball team can vary greatly depending on several factors. By considering the location, facilities, and player salaries, you can make informed decisions about how to budget for your team.