Media Alert: Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships Announces Media Day

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Event will give insights into schedule, athletes, economic impact of largest pickleball competition in history. Note: interviews, photo and video opportunities.

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The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships, a world-class, international competition, returns to East Naples Community Park in Naples, Florida, from April 23-April 30, 2017.

Once again this year, the event hosts a special Media Day. In addition, a Kids’ Day will be offered, with a clinic to teach children the basics of pickleball.

WHAT: Media Day will be held on Friday, April 21, 2017. Members of the media who will be in attendance should contact the event’s organizers to RSVP.

WHERE: East Naples Community Park, 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples, Florida 34112.

PARKING: Reserved media spots are located on the right side when entering the park. All media members must show a current media ID to receive a media credential that will give them access throughout the week.

WHEN: Friday, April 21, 2017, 11:50 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

WHY: To provide insights into the tournament itself, as well as the athletes, the sport and the ramifications of an event that is the largest tournament in the sport’s history.

WHO: Invited guests scheduled to speak include:
Donna Fiala, Collier County Commissioner, District I
Penny Taylor, Collier County Commissioner, District 4
Barry Williams, Director, Collier County Parks & Recreation
Jack Wert, Executive Director, Naples, Marco Island & Everglades – Florida’s Paradise Coast
Bill Bullock, Vice President of Minto Communities
Simone Jardim, Minto US OPEN Pickleball Champion, local favorite to win three pro medals
Kyle Yates - Minto US OPEN Pickleball Champion, local favorite to win three medals


  • 11:50 a.m.: Welcome & Introductions: Terri Graham, founder, Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships
  • 12:00 p.m.: Bill Bullock will provide background on Minto Communities’ involvement in the event as the title sponsor.
  • 12:10 p.m.: Barry Williams – insights from Collier County Parks & Recreation
  • 12:20 p.m. : Jack Wert – Discussion of the economic impact of the Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships
  • 12:30 p.m.: Commissioner Donna Fiala
  • 12:40 p.m.: Commissioner Penny Taylor
  • 12:50 p.m.: Wrap-up and the exhibition begins on Zing Zang Championship Court (Note: This will provide excellent photo opportunities for those who want action shots of the sport. Information on the sport itself will also be provided by volunteers and staff members, who will be on hand to answer any questions on the game itself.)
  • 12:50 - 1:30 p.m.: Individual interviews with athletes and/or dignitaries

Note: The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships will host a Kids’ Day on Friday, April 21. This will include a children’s clinic with kid-friendly instructors. A total of 100 students from the Manatee Middle School will be at Media/Kid’s Day. They will watch the exhibition and then receive on-court instruction.

BACKGROUND: Media Day is intended to provide members of the media with insights into both the event and the sport itself. Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., with more than 2.5 million players, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

CBS Sports Network will be onsite on Saturday, April 29, to cover the pro mixed, men’s and women’s finals. The program will air on May 19 and 26 on CBSSN.

About the Venue: East Naples Community Park, the site of the event, has 39 pickleball courts surrounding the Zing Zang Championship Court, where high-visibility matches will be played. An additional nine courts are available at nearby Avalon School, giving the East Naples area a total of 48 pickleball courts.

Tournament Trivia: The 2016 event, in addition to hosting between 10,000 and 12,000 spectators (more are expected this year), brought a $2.5 million economic boost to the Naples area, according to the Collier County Visitor’s Bureau. It also was named a winner in Sports Destination Management Magazine’s annual awards program, Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism.

Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships : The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships is organized by Spirit Promotions, LLC, a company formed by Terri Graham, president, and Chris Evon, executive director, in 2015. Event director and local pickleball ambassador Jim Ludwig is also instrumental to the championships. In addition, Spirit Promotions formed the US OPEN Pickleball Academy headlined by Minto US OPEN Champion Simone Jardim. The Academy produces programs, pickleball instruction and skill clinics.

Information on the Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships is available on the event’s website,, where visitors can also sign up for e-mail updates about the tournament. For sponsor or other information, e-mail Terri Graham at terri(at)usopenpickleball(dot)com or Chris Evon at chris(at)usopenpickleball(dot)com

Stay in Touch: Keep up with the US OPEN Pickleball Championships:

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