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CatchCorner app scores users places to play around Chicago area

New app scores athletes places to play sports
New app scores athletes places to play sports 02:19

HOMER GLEN, Ill. (CBS) – Staying active is key for longevity. That's nothing new.

But not everyone has the time or the money to join a gym or a sports league. CBS 2's Lauren Victory introduced us to a Canadian fitness solution that's catching on in the Chicago area.

At the MegaPlex Sports Center in Homer Glen, a few pickleball players have a standing date.

But should they ever find themselves in a pickle, as in, if someone forgot to reserve a court, the CatchCorner app can score them one somewhere else.

"You can see everything that's in your arena," said Jonathan Azouri, co-founder of CatchCorner. "Whether it's a rec center, whether it's a private facility, whether it's a church."

Azouri co-developed the technology. He likened it to the restaurant reservation system OpenTable. Instead of dinner, CatchCorner serves up empty places to play.

How about paying $72 an hour for an entire basketball court in Bartlett? Or $70 to hit the turf in Hammond?

"We work with currently about 40 different facilities which are home to about 350 to 400 different recreational spaces," Azouri said.

Whether it's skating, badminton, or soccer, space for all sorts of sports is available. Azouri said people use the app to book birthday parties and more.

Victory: "Thus far, what's been your favorite use of CatchCorner?"

Azouri: "I've seen a rap video being filmed on an ice rink."

Non-traditional bookings come into the MegaPlex too. Owner Branko Boricich told CBS 2 how the app helps fill a void during off-peak hours.

"They're cooks in a restaurant," said Boricich. "They're off at 9 o'clock and they'll be here at 10 o'clock and play."

More people on the courts leads to more money for the restaurant at the MegaPlex. Boricich credits CatchCorner for a 35% bump in revenue in May.

"It's prepaid with a credit card," Boricich said. "It's guaranteed. They sign a waiver. It's pretty simple, really. It's a lot less work on my end."

The app has resulted in fewer headaches and more fun. CatchCorner brings in at least five bookings a day at the MegaPlex and even more soon.

Several more courts should be available this fall.

CatchCorner's co-founder said tens of thousands of customers already use the app in the Chicago area. It launched in the region about nine months ago with Sports Illustrated as a major investor.

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