Pickleball News: Spring 2023

Latest news in the Sport of Pickleball: Spring 2023 Updates

Published May 11, 2023

Pickleball courts continue to expand across the nation

For indoor courts, a number of new businesses are starting and expanding throughout the Untied States.  Here are some of the latest openings announced for early 2023.
  • Pickleball Kingdom has announced expansion plans in the Dallas area.  Pickleball Kingdom is an Arizona based indoor pickleball franchise.  On May 11, 2023, they announced a five club franchise deal in the Dallas metro market. 
  • The Pickleball Club, a Sarasota-based private membership based club, has announced the development of their seventh location in Pinellas Park.  They are currently operating or under construction with pickleball facilities in these Southwest Florida cities: Lakewood Ranch, West River, Port Saint Lucie, Fort Meyers, and Bonita Springs. They state they have 15 planned across the state of Florida. 
  • The Exchange is developing a new sip and serve concept  in New Orleans with a  Pickleball and Bar facility with both indoor and outdoor courts along with food, drinks, and live music. 
  • Goodbounce, of Louisville, KY, is working on a similar concept  They’ve recently completed phase one which includes six pickleball courts, a game yard and a restaurant and bar on River Shore Drive.
  • Athletic clubs also continue to add pickleball courts to their facilities.  This includes the Life Time adding courts in their latest athletic club developments. 
  • Kraken Kourts in the DC area is opening May 12, 2023. The 70k square-foot complex includes pickleball, rolling skating, table tennis, and darts along with a tavern for food and drink.  
Outdoor court expansions continue through both public community and private corporate ownership.  Some of the new courts opening for Summer 2023  that we are aware of include:   
  • 14 pickleball pop courts on the Wollman RIck in Central Park, Manhattan, New York.City from Spring to Fall, 
  • Three new courts at Westfield UTC in University City, San Deigo, .  
  • Two new courts in the Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Do you have new courts popping up in your area?  Let us know and we’ll keep this updated.

Pickleball TV is here

It’s official, Pickleball is a national sport made evident by the launch of a dedicated Pickleball Channel.  On April 14, 2023, Digital Wave Productions TV announced the launch of PickleTV.  PickleTV will stream 24/7 content on streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, FuboTV, Freevee, Plex, Sling. 

Major League Pickleball 2023 Ownership Updates

Major League Pickleball (MLP) announced new ownership groups heading into 2023.  New owners that came into the league in the fall and winter of last year has allowed MLP to expand to a 24-team league. THis doubles the size of the league from the existing 12 teams.  With the expansion to 24 teams, MLP is offering up to $5 million in prize money and payouts to its players in 2023. New owners selected their teams in a draft in December 2022. The owners are comprised of well known celebrities and athletes along with leaders in the business world.  Owners now include Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka, Nick Kyrgios, Devin Booker, Jeremy Lin, Larry Fitzgerald, Justin Verlander, Mesut Ӧzil, Chris Evert, Heidi Klum, Eva Longoria, Kate Upton, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Cuban.  “The diversity in the backgrounds and expertise of our fantastic new owners is an incredible asset as we aggressively expand Major League Pickleball to reach more fans than ever,” said MLP by Margaritaville Interim CEO Brian Levine. “We always say pickleball brings people together, and this roster of leaders from across a wide variety of industries is a strong testament to that philosophy.”

MLP 2023 Calendar and Tour Update

The 2023 Major League Pickleball calendar is divided into two seasons.  Each season has three events.  In the first season, the current 12 teams will compete in the MLP Premier level  and the newly added 12 teams will compete in the MLP Challenger Level.  In the second season, all 24 teams will compete in the Premier Level. Season One events are Mesa, AZ held in January 2023, Daytona Beach, FL held in March 2023 with the final event to be held in San Clemente, CA June 15-16, 2023. Season Two events are scheduled for September 21-24 in Peachtree Corners, GA, November 2-5 in La Quinta, CA, and December 7-11 in San Clemente, CA. 

More professional tennis players switch to Pickleball

With the draft of the new MLP teams we saw tennis player Sam Querrey start his journey into professional pickleball.  Querrey is winner of 10 ATP Tour titles, two-time semifinalist in Wimbledon, and former world #11 in mens singles. Most recently we witnessed Jack Sock make his professional pickleball debut at the PPA North Carolina Open in early May 2023 where he won the mixed doubles title with Anna Leigh Waters and reached the semifinals in men’s singles and doubles..  Sock is a four-time Grand Slam doubles champion and a former world #8 in singles on the ATP tour. Coming up is Noah Rubin. Rubin is a former Wimbledon junior champion and a former world #125 in singles on the ATP tour. He retired from professional tennis this year and pledged allegiance to pickleball. He plans to compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at various tournaments in 2023.

The 2023 PPA Tour Update

The Professional Pickleball Association tour events for 2023 are well underway.  This year marks a new level for the game and the Carvana PPA Tour is offering a record $5.5 million in prize money distributed across 25 calendar events. This is a reported 83% increase in payouts from 2022 with a 25% increase in events. That means the average player’s compensation could increase by over 60% and get safely into six figures this year. Supporting this increase is a list of new broadcast partners including ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, Tennis Channel, Amazon Prime and Fanduel TV.  Nine events have taken place so far this year. Highlights have included the PPA Hyundai Masters in Rancho Mirage, CA with tri[ple crowns for Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters who are currently ranked #1 in men’s singles and women’s singles respectively and are the top ranked mixed doubles team.   The recent North Carolina Open saw another triple for Waters and the debut of Jack Sock.  Sock reached the quarterfinals in the men’s singles and won the title in the mixed doubles with Waters.  The remaining sixteen tour stops include the Atlanta Open, the Boise Classic, the Denver Open, and the Vulcan Tournament of Champions.  The 2023 tour will end with USAP National Championships in November in Dallas, the PPA Hertz National Championship in Orlando, The PPA Tour Finals in San Clements, and an All-Star Week in Las Vegas in December.
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