Ping pong’s popularity on display with SPIN’s grand opening



SPIN Grand Opening, Photo by Amelia Valery

The disco ball’s reflective light danced across the room at the grand opening of New York’s newest ping-pong club, SPIN. Guests stumbled over bright orange ping pong balls sprinkling the floor as “Kiss,” by Prince, blared. 

Half the crowd pulsed to the melody and the rest batted ping pong balls at game tables scattering around the club. 

SPIN opened its second New York location on Oct. 5, with over 100 people standing in a line that stretched around the corner of West 49th Street.

Table tennis is the third fastest-growing sport in the U.S., according to the Sport and Art Educational Foundation. It’s also the eighth most-played game in the world, according to, a success that can be attributed to its integration into social clubs, schools, and sports centers worldwide. The United States Association of Table Tennis even offers competitive tournaments for everyone from children to ping pong lovers over 80. 

The first SPIN club opened 14 years ago. Its only Manhattan competition is Space Ping Pong in Koreatown, which opened in 2022. Located on the eighth floor of 22 W. 32nd St., Space offers an array of activities, including ping pong, arcade games and beer pong.

Space Hospitality owns the brand and five others, including clubs for billiards and karaoke. “We carry unique experiences for our guests in all spectrums of nightlife and entertainment,” its website says.

Space Hospitality did not respond to messages seeking comment. 

One thing Space and SPIN have in common: bathtubs filled with ping pong balls for the perfect photo. 

Inside SPIN’s new Times Square attraction, a diverse crowd of new and old friends met up. Some even met through their love of ping pong. 

Jeffrey Dang, a loyal player, stood in line with a few friends who met at the original SPIN location in the Flatiron District. 

“I love the game,” he said. “I’ve played in high school on and off and you just really reignite the competitive spirit.” 

SPIN’s flagship location on East 23rd Street opened in 2009. Founders Jonathan Bricklin and Franck Raharinosy wanted a place where they could practice day and night, hoping to make the Olympic team. 

They now have nine locations across the U.S. and Canada and have attracted sponsorships from big-name brands such as Unicef, Stiga, and Titos. 

SPIN’s grand opening drew professional players, loyal customers and guests who were just curious. Nick Portello and Kesia Davies fell into the last category and said they were shocked by the intense music and mix of activities.

“It’s not really about the ping pong,” Portello said. “Any chance to meet new people and go to something that’s exciting and different, I’ll take.”

The Sport and Art Educational Foundation credits ping pong’s popularity to its accessibility at any skill level. It also develops fine motor skills, quickness of mind and faster reflexes. 

“It’s always associated with positive emotions and fun times,” said Davies. “I’m not good at it, but I know it’s fun.”

SPIN did not respond to messages seeking comment.