WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Two Kansas natives and pickleball fanatics are opening a brand new pickleball facility next summer in northeast Wichita in order to help grow the sport and give people a place to play together and relax.

Right now there's a large empty field with nothing but grass next to the Aloft hotel at K96 and Oliver, but in less than a year it will be the site of Tap N Paddles, a brand new pickleball facility featuring 12 professional level courts, a full restaurant and bar, an indoor event space, and more.

"It can't come fast enough on one level. On another level we've got a lot of work to do to get it open," said co-owner Mike Ventling.

He and his wife Kelli fell in love with playing pickleball about three years ago and since then they have wanted to build their own place where players can join together. Thursday afternoon Ventling walked around the big empty field talking to a developer as that dream is becoming a reality. 

He said he hopes to be able to open it by mid summer of next year if weather allows. His and his wife's goal is to give players of any age and skill level the best experience so they're paying attention to every little detail.

"The courts. The lighting. We're obsessing over about all of those features of this," he said. 

Mike and Kelli are Kansas natives themselves. They are active members in the Wichita pickleball community and say with the way it's growing, Wichita is the perfect spot for this.

"Wichita is a mecca for pickleball at a high level," he said.

With new coffee shops being built, popular restaurants, apartments, and more this is a growing area which is why, when Ventling found it, he knew it was the place to build his facility. Developers agree this will be a great new addition to the community.

"The pickleball court will help the hotel. The hotel will help the pickleball court. The restaurants we have they all work together so when somebody comes through they have multiple options for things to do," said developer Marque Peer.