Monday, December 4, 2023

Tri-state’s largest pickleball tournament coming to Centre Court this weekend

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Nearly 400 pickleball players of all ages are expected to fill Merchant Centre Court on this weekend for what organizers say is the sport’s largest tournament in the tri-state. The tournament begins Friday and lasts through Sunday.

Hosted by Rivertown Pickleball of South Indiana, the event is drawing competitors from nine states.

“Merchant Centre Courts will be rocking over the three-day weekend. Men and women of all ages and all skill levels will put their pickleball skills on display,” RPSI Board Member Dale Todd said.

Pickleball is regarded as the fastest-growing sport in the United States, attracting people from all walks of life — including professional athletes. Owensboro is home to professional pickleball player Altaf Merchant, who is currently the highest-ranked senior player in the world according to the Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating.

Visit Owensboro’s Destination Services Director Chris Gendek said he anticipates the event to have a local economic impact of $150,000.

“We’re excited the RPSI chose Owensboro as their location to host such a large tournament,” he said. “It’s a testament to the incredible facilities our city has invested in across multiple sports.”

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