Mornings With Gina Birch

It’s been a week of record crowds and big excitement in the national, international and Southwest Florida pickleball communities. And it’s about to wrap up for another year. Finals set for National Pickleball Championships in Naples and games are this weekend. Here is what you need to know before you go.

There has been so much buzz about this event that I finally went to some games yesterday to see what it’s all about. Mind you, I have no idea who the players are or about the sport. Although I have managed to play a few bad rounds with friends and family.

About The National Pickleball Championships In Naples

The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships kicked off last week at East Naples Community Park. The competition includes wheelchair, amateurs and pros. Some pros are decorated athletes who’ve found a new home on these courts and there are dozens of them–courts. The finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Competitors come from around the world and top 3000 in numbers.

Pickleball fans also come from around the country and the world. These numbers top 40,000.  Vendors know it and they too show up in droves. You want shoes, paddles, balls, clothing, help with your swing? You’ll find it all under the huge tents set up here.

The energy is buzzing. Athletes are dressed in their matching gear warming up for matches in every corner. Spectators are dressed in whimsical and comfortable gear. Many with lawn chairs and bags strapped to their backs, ready for an all day adventure.  There are food trucks, adult beverages and all kinds of things to keep you busy when not watching matches.

Click here for a short video from my afternoon.

Regardless of whether or not you are an avid fan or just getting into the sport, you will enjoy this event. Even if you don’t know anything about it, you can have fun with all kinds of food, drink and other vendors.

Parking And Admission To National Pickleball Championships In Naples

Parking at the courts is limited and much of it is reserved. There are lots of parking signs along the American flag lined street leading to the event. Try pulling into the neighboring Sugden Park and hop an airconditioned shuttle to the courts.

It is free to watch games held on the outdoor courts. No charge to enjoy the Pickleball Village either. However, a paid ticket is needed to get in the big blue ZING ZANG Championship Court to see the finals.

Sign me up for the Sunny 106.3 email newsletter!

You love Sunny 106.3, so join the VIP Club! Be the first to know about our awesome ticket giveaways, the latest updates with your favorite artists, and more delivered right to your inbox.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.