Indoor Pickleball Project

Are you one of the thousands of Pickleball players all along the North Shore who dream about being able to play year-round, close to home? Well, we have some very exciting news for you!

This spring, the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners approved design, engineering, and necessary materials for the replacement of the existing air supported structure (Dome) on Skokie Valley Road and construction of a new Dome, that will be the first indoor sports facility on the North Shore exclusively for Pickleball and Padel (a racket sport typically played in doubles on an enclosed court slightly smaller than a tennis court). The goal is to open this new indoor facility during the winter of 2024-2025. The new indoor facility will include:

  • Ten Pickleball Courts 
  • 4 Padel Courts
  • Café
  • Pro Shop
  • Restrooms

About the Site

The existing site is a collaboration between the City of Highland Park and Park District of Highland Park.  Consistent with the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, the City owns the land, and the Park District manages all operations at the site through a 99-year Lease Agreement.    The current Dome is owned by a third-party (Grantee) who is permitted to rent space for indoor recreation uses such as soccer, lacrosse, and other similar sports consistent with the terms of a Concession and Site Agreement (Dome Agreement).  This Agreement was initiated in 2009 and has since been extended several times.  The final term for the Agreement expired in April 2024. In August 2023, the Park District released a request for proposals for a new long-term agreement that would meet the needs of the community.  The Park District did not receive a proposal from the current Grantee but did receive three alternative proposals.  In January 2024, after an extensive review process, the Park District enthusiastically accepted a proposal from Highland Park native Ronald Saslow for an indoor pickleball and padel. Mr. Saslow is contributing a major portion of the funding for the new facility, which will now be a year-round paddle facility.  


Cost for the new dome, construction of the court surface; the interior furniture, fixtures, and amenities; and adding utility services for sewer, water, and electric, is estimated to be $4.2M. 

While a significant portion is covered by the generous donation from Mr. Saslow, as well as funding from the Park District and the City of Highland Park, there remains a $600,000 funding gap. Parks Foundation of Highland Park is actively seeking donations and sponsorships to raise $600,000 to make the new indoor paddle facility a reality.  

We welcome residents to be part of bringing this new paddle sports facility to life!  If you are interested in contributing to the success of this important project, donate today.  All donors will be given permanent recognition at the new facility.

For details on the exciting sponsorship opportunities to promote your business year-round to thousands of local and regional players, contact Nik Lapin at or 847.971.0718.

About Pickleball

If you live on the North Shore, or frankly anywhere, you’ve certainly heard about Pickleball. There are now more than 36 million players nationwide. The Major League Pickleball Association (MLP) is entering its 4th season in 2024. 

The Park District has supported players for years with temporary indoor courts at Deer Creek Racquet Club and at the Recreation Center of Highland Park. In 2019 six dedicated pickleball courts were constructed at Danny Cunniff Park and two at Woodridge Park, and several lined courts were added to existing tennis courts around the Park District for dual-purpose tennis and pickleball. The response was overwhelmingly positive. In September 2021, Danny Cunniff Park was chosen as the location for the third annual Chicago Pickleball Open Tournament which was televised on CBS Network Sports. That set the stage for Highland Park to become a destination for players and fans of the sport. In 2023, to meet the growing demand for Pickleball, we added 10 more dedicated courts at Danny Cunniff Park, which hosts both the annual Association of Pickleball Professionals Chicago Open, the National Pickleball Windy City Classic, and many other fundraiser tournaments, classes, lessons, and leagues. 

About Padel

The Park District of Highland Park is excited to include four Padel courts in our proposed paddle facility, reflecting the sport’s growing popularity in the United States. Originating in Mexico in the 1960s, Padel’s presence in the US began in the 1990s, with Florida being among the first states to adopt the sport. In recent years, Padel has gained traction across several states, thanks to the efforts of organizations like the United States Padel Association (USPA) and the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA) in promoting the sport and constructing new courts. Padel’s appeal lies in its accessibility to players of all skill levels, offering a balance of simplicity and strategic depth. Played on a glassed-in court—smaller than a tennis court—with solid paddles and depressurized balls, Padel fosters engaging rallies and social interactions, making it an ideal choice for recreational enthusiasts. Padel is typically played in doubles, which makes it a social sport and allows players to work together and strategize during the game. As more people discover Padel’s unique features and benefits, the game is poised for significant growth across the country, enriching the recreational landscape and fostering a vibrant community of players.

All of us at your Park District are looking forward to opening this new year-round paddle facility as we continue to provide world-class healthy recreational opportunities for everyone in the community. Watch for updates to this and other projects on our website!