The 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships, powered by Invited and the PPA Tour, was its most triumphant rendition to date.
Hosted from November 5 to 12 at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Dallas, the event witnessed unparalleled participation, attendance, and broadcast viewership, marking a monumental milestone in pickleball history.
Attendance soared beyond expectations, with over 50,000 visitors converging upon Pickleball Boulevard throughout the week-long extravaganza.
Semifinal Saturday drew a tournament-high 9,500+ attendees, while the Championship Court Sunday had sold out two weeks in advance. The Deep Eddy Vodka Celebrity Pickleball Showdown on Tuesday evening attracted a full house, with approximately 3,000 spectators lapping up the pickleballing thrills and skills of Dallas sporting icons like Dirk Nowitzki, Scottie Scheffler, Jason Kidd, Marty Turco, and John Isner, while Tony Romo sat in the commentary box.
Connor Pardoe, CEO and Founder of the PPA Tour, said, “We had extremely high expectations for the 2023 National Championships, and through the hard work of our team and with the incredible support of the pickleball and Dallas communities, we were able to shatter those expectations.”
“Pickleball Boulevard was buzzing with energy all week long, with both longstanding and new fans of pickleball enjoying live music, great food, and, of course, the world’s best pickleball. We can’t wait to show how we can continue to grow our fantastic events and set the bar even higher for future iterations.”
A record-breaking 3,500+ pro and amateur players from 49 states and Washington D.C. competed in 6,928 matches during the event. With nearly 3,000 players arriving from out-of-state, the seven partner hotels in Farmers Branch were all fully booked, generating substantial economic benefits for the region.
Mayor Terry Lynne of Farmers Branch remarked, “We could not have been more delighted to partner with the PPA on the National Championships in Farmers Branch.
“The event was an incredible success for the City, in collaboration with Brookhaven and our corporate partners. We were proud to host the sport’s elite players and pleased that the overall turnout and economic impact were larger than anticipated. It was a win-win for everyone.”
Over 2.6 Million Viewers
Television broadcasts captivated over 2.6 million viewers across ESPN, Tennis Channel, and PickleballTV. The Deep Eddy Vodka Celebrity Pickleball Showdown drew the highest viewership for a PPA Tour ESPN broadcast, attracting 390,000 viewers.
Tennis Channel’s senior vice president of production and executive producer, Bob Whyley, was astonished at the caliber of the event:
“Many on our executive team had the opportunity to attend the National Championships and were blown away by how far along the event was for such a young sport.
“We’ve come to expect the best from (PPA Tour Investor) Tom (Dundon), Connor, and the PPA team, but I don’t think our group was prepared for what we saw on the ground in Dallas.
“From the quality and volume of sponsors to the on-court energy everywhere to the roar of the crowds while the best in the world battled for championships – it really mirrored many of the tournaments I’ve visited on the pro tennis tours.
“There’s nothing like being there in person, but we know from the viewer numbers we’ve seen that people around the country enjoyed watching it on TV, too. We’re excited to partner with the PPA Tour to make this amazing sport available year-round on PickleballTV.”
Pickleball Central achieved unprecedented success with on-site retail, setting records for total sales at the event and all PPA Tour events. Additionally, the 2023 edition witnessed a 3.5x sales increase for Pickleball Central compared to previous Nationals.
Notably, the championships secured a Guinness World Record as 264 participants partook in the successful Deep Eddy Vodka Guinness World Record attempt for the “Most Participants in a Pickleball Exhibition Match,” lasting 12 consecutive hours on Pickleball Boulevard.
Hannah Venhoff, Vice President of Deep Eddy Vodka, couldn’t help but notice the enthusiasm surrounding the Nationals:
“The excitement around Nationals was palpable, and we are thrilled so many fans, pros, and celebrities alike could enjoy the festivities with Deep Eddy Vodka.
“Deep Eddy is about bringing people together for fun, carefree good times, and it was clear that was the experience of every attendee. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the PPA Tour throughout the rest of the season.”
The PPA Tour’s 2023 season concludes at the CIBC PPA Tour Finals in San Clemente from November 30 to December 3, followed by the Texas Open at Oasis Pickleball Club in Rockwall in May 2024, marking a return to North Texas.
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