Middle Eastern sports academy to serve up £10m investment – starting in Mansfield
Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium could be home to a new padel complex, if plans are approved.
UAE-based World Padel Academy (WPA) wants to develop and operate the facilities at the League Two club’s ground in Nottinghamshire as part of a £10m investment to promote the game in the UK.
The WPA wants to build and operate four indoor padel courts at the One Call Stadium, along with the associated amenities such as a reception, food and beverage outlet with sitting areas and a retail store. The new complex would be on an area of unused wasteland next to 3G pitches linked to the wider One Call Stadium.
In a statement, the WPA said: “WPA is delighted to have agreed terms with the chairman and owner of Mansfield Town Football Club, which will be the location of the first World Padel Academy venue in the UK.
“The padel facilities will be available for recreational play throughout the day and evening and as seen in other venues we will welcome people from all communities and backgrounds. Padel is also a great game for young players and we will work with local schools and organisations to give them opportunities to try padel and who knows we hope to aspire some to become national players, world professionals and possibly Olympians of the future.”
Padel is a form of tennis that played mainly in a doubles format on an enclosed court about a third of the size of a tennis court and can be played in groups of mixed ages and abilities, as it is not power dominant. The rules are broadly the same as tennis, although you serve underhand and the walls are used as part of the game with the ball allowed to bounce off them.
One of the fastest growing sports across continental Europe, padel has gained increasing popularity over recent years, with over six million people currently playing in Spain.
In 2022 a padel complex opened at Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium.
Stags owner John Radford has thrown his weight behind the plans. In a statement, he said: “I am delighted that we have formed a partnership with World Padel Academy (WPA) who plan to develop and operate padel
tennis facilities at the One Call Stadium.
“Padel Tennis will add a wonderful new activity to Mansfield and will be one of the first towns in the region to have purpose built facilities.
Padel tennis has been a passion of mine for a number of years and I am so pleased the game has recently been introduced to the UK and is growing at pace.
“I play Padel in Portugal mostly, not only with friends but with my wife and children, as it is truly a game for everyone to play together and have fun. However, it would be great to be able to play Padel in Mansfield.”
The planning consultant on the scheme is Grace Machin and the scheme is beind designed by CPMG Architects.