MESA, AZ — You probably know pickleball as the game your neighbors keeps inviting you to play in their backyard, but it isn’t just getting more popular among your friends. The sport even includes a professional league that has landed sponsorship deals with big-name companies and will hand out millions of dollars in prize money this year.
The Professional Pickleball Association held its Arizona Grand Slam event in Mesa at the new pickleball complex at Bell Bank Park from Feb. 16-20. The event was sponsored by national orthopedic health retailer Foot Solutions Inc.
The event not only highlighted the new 41 pickleball-specific courts at Bell Bank Park, but also the huge growth of the sport of pickleball.
“Pickleball is exploding right now,” said Ryan Trefry, the director of pickleball at Legacy Sports USA, the company that owns Bell Bank Park. “Pickleball is just starting to become mainstream.”
The PPA said the Arizona Grand Slam stop on the tour featured 200 professional and 1,200 amateurs. The tournament had a total prize pool of $150,000. Of the professionals, it featured many of the top ranked ones in the world, which has been one of the PPA’s selling points.
Read more of this story from the Phoenix Business Journal.