Watch the pickleball pros in Minnesota's largest tournament ever
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.
- Iowa-based chain Smash Park is planning two of its 30,000-square-foot venues here, which would include courts, food, drinks, ax throwing, duckpin bowling, live music and other events.
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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