The Association of Pickleball Professionals Sunmed Houston Open will be hosted Oct. 19-23 at Memorial Park, 1500 E. Memorial Loop Drive, Houston, according to a Sept. 27 announcement from Houston City Council Member Abbie Kamin, who worked with the city and a number of local pickleball groups to land the event. It will be the first-ever professional pickleball tournament to be hosted in the city.
“When members of our local pickleball organizations brought this idea to me, it was a no-brainer," Kamin said in a statement. "It doesn’t stop at this tournament; our district is leading the way and making the investment when it comes to supporting Houston’s love for pickleball."
Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of badminton, ping-pong and tennis.
Kenneth Allen, director of Houston's Parks and Recreation Department, said the city has seen a rise in popularity among those looking to partake in the sport. Houston Pickleball Association President Michael Kaplan estimates there are more than 10,000 active pickleball players in Houston.
Not far from Memorial Park on Shepherd Drive, local restaurateurs are working to open PKL Social, a sports bar that will also feature four pickleball courts where league play, clinics and open play will take place. Kamin said pickleball courts will also be opening soon at several parks across her district.
Those looking to participate in the tournament have until Oct. 10 to register for the Golden Ticket Qualifier for Amateurs and Pros. Registration is $110, and participants must be at least 10 years old to play.
Individuals can also purchase tickets to spectate the event. More information can be found here.