Feb 24, 2023 - Sports

Watch the pickleball pros in Minnesota's largest tournament ever

Photo: Courtesy of the Professional Pickleball Association

Nearly 1,000 pickleball players have taken over Life Time in Lakeville to compete in the largest pickleball tournament ever in Minnesota.

What's happening: The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour Indoor National Championships are in full swing, bringing amateurs and top pros from around the world to compete for more than $230,000 in prize money.

  • The tournament, which kicked off Thursday and ends Sunday night, is open to spectators and has matches from 7:30am-10:30pm, depending on the day.

The big picture: Pickleball was the fastest-growing sport in America last year, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

  • The combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong is relatively easy to pick up and requires a space only one-third the size of a tennis court — making it a popular, accessible game during lockdown, writes Axios' Kendall Baker.

What to expect: Spectators can get a grounds pass for the day or courtside seats to watch the professionals up close. Tickets start at $25; Sunday passes are almost sold out, Life Time confirmed to Axios.

What we're watching: Local governments, fitness clubs and national chains are betting big on the pickleball craze in the Twin Cities.

Data: Yelp; Chart: Axios Visuals

The bottom line: Pickleball is on our minds more than ever before, according to data released by Yelp this week, Axios' Hope King writes in Axios Closer.

  • Interest in the game shot up by 275% from 2019 to 2022, according to changes in consumer actions, such as viewing relevant business pages, sharing photos or posting reviews on Yelp.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct Life Time's name.

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