Naples Aces Pickleball Limelight

The 2021 Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park will draw spectators from across the country April 17-24

East Naples community Park pickleball courts, Photo by Maddie Laufer
East Naples Community Park pickleball courts. Photos by Maddie Laufer

The week-long 2021 Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships—running Saturday, April 17 to Saturday, April 24—at East Naples Community Park are expected to draw thousands of spectators from across the country. Although the 2020 national tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19, organizers predict the nationally televised event will be coming back bigger and better than ever for the fifth annual event. The championships are expected to feature more than 2,600 pickleball competitors and host about 13,000 spectators throughout the week.

The pickleball championships will be televised daily on the CBS Sports Network from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., putting Naples in the national spotlight. To add a touch of tropical elegance, the Naples Botanical Garden, with the support of a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County, installed a palm allée alongside two courts. It also is bringing in showy flowering trees and potted plants to beautify the venue for visitors and television audiences.

East Naples Pickleball Court, photo by Maddie Laufer

Here is the week’s lineup of pickleball events:

Saturday, April 17: Margaritaville in the Park featuring live music and food

Sunday, April 18: Singles Day

Monday, April 19: Men’s and Women’s Doubles

Tuesday, April 20: Mixed Doubles

Wednesday, April 21: Men’s Doubles (Senior Pro, Skill, and Age)

Thursday, April 22: Women’s Doubles (Senior Pro, Skill, and Wheelchair)

Friday, April 23: Pro Doubles, Mixed Senior Pro, and Mixed Skill

Saturday, April 24: Dick’s Sporting Goods Championship Celebration

Collier County has made major investments in the park, which serves as the base for the Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida and is a staple in the East Naples community, providing families access to recreational and sport opportunities. East Naples Community Park has hosted the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships since 2016. The county recently provided $1.8 million in renovations and enhancements: 10 additional courts, expanded parking, new water stations with bottle-refill options, and electrical and internet-access upgrades. The next $23.4 million phase will include a new welcome center and community center, a 3,500-seat stadium, and more than 1,000 additional parking spots.

East Naples Community Park is located at 3500 Thomasson Drive. For more information on the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, click here.

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