Pickleball, Anyone?

Pickleballers to compete for $100k
Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Pickleball Club

One indicator that spring has sprung in Grand Rapids is the increasing number of pickleball events on the calendar. The sport’s rise in popularity has done well for Grand Rapids Pickleball in general, placing the city firmly on the map as a pickleball center.

Two upcoming tournaments– the GRPL Earth Day Open and the Beer City Open – are a testament to this and the folks at the Grand Rapids Pickleball Club which is hosting the competitions. 

The GRPL Earth Day Open starts Friday, April 21 at noon and continues throughout the weekend, with all proceeds going to Belknap Enhancement Fund. The Beer City Open Pickleball Championships will be held July 18 – 23. Both tournaments will take place at Belknap Park, 30 Coldbrook St NE, Grand Rapids. 

The 2023 Beer City Open is expected to be the largest iteration in the event’s history, with more than 900 athletes competing for $100,000 in prize money.

Grand Rapids Pickleball Club courtesy photo.

“Since the Beer City Open began in 2018, the event has grown tremendously with the help of the local community,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “West Michigan will benefit from nearly $1.6 million in visitor spending anticipated from this beloved event, establishing Grand Rapids a top destination for pickleball in the Midwest.” 

AHC Hospitality is the tournament’s title sponsor, along with additional sponsors including PepsiCo Beverage North America, Perrin Brewing, McClure’s Pickles, Elders Helpers, Priority Health and Paddletek.

“This is the first year that the Beer City Open will host Professional Pickleball Association Tour Pro Players, making our tournament the first independent pickleball event of the year to have all professional players in attendance,” said Andrea Remynse Koop, Beer City Open tournament director and renowned professional pickleball player. “We’re proud of how much we’ve evolved since our first tournament, which hosted 400 participants, into a growing event that welcomes over 900 athletes from 36 states and six countries.”

Admission to the Beer City Open is free for spectators. The Amway Grand Plaza – which just debuted a city-view rooftop pickleball court –  is offering special rates during the competition starting at $249 per night. 

“With the opening of RoofTop Pickleball at the Amway Grand Plaza last year, AHC Hospitality’s title sponsorship of the Beer City Open is a natural fit,” said Chad LeRoux, chief marketing officer of AHC Hospitality. “We’re excited to host the pickleball players at our collection of hotels, and also support the economic impact this tournament will have on Grand Rapid businesses.”

Registration for the 2023 Beer City Open begins Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 10 a.m. for amateurs and professionals aged 11 and above. Register here


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