The “addicting” pickleball lifestyle, The US Open Pickleball Championship

Reporter: Jacquelyn Kisic
Published: Updated:

The new owner wants to keep the ‘Pickleball Capital of the World’ simple, including bringing in all players from around the world and at all levels.

The eighth annual Minto US Open Pickleball Championship is back on with new ideas for the future of pickleball in East Naples.

“This is the premier event in all of pickleball” said Mike Dee, the CEO and Chairman of Pickleball American as well as one of the new owners of the US Open. Dee along with his company will be taking over the rights in 2025.

“It’s the one that shines the brightest on the annual pickleball calendar” said Dee, “Collier County had the foresight and vision to take which was a community park and literally transform it into one of the premier pickleball facilities and destinations in the country.”

The US Open so far has brought in more than 40,000 people sitting courtside, 3,000 players from all 50 states and 31 countries.


The US Open features all players from beginners to professionals, and 600 volunteers to create the weeklong event.

For many players and visitors, they have a chance to look at 30 different vendors featuring clothing items, paddle manufactures, balls, to vacation pickleball destinations.

Reporter Jacquelyn Kisic asked Dee about what he plans to next year for the US Open, below was his response:

“I think we have to stay competitive, you know, the sport is changing. There are new tournaments, there are new cores, there are different opportunities for people who are amateurs and pros and want to compete to play in a lot of different places. So, we have we just recently extended our lease with Collier County by a year but we’re working hard on a long-term master plan to keep this park you know, at the very top of the sport, and continue to invest in it not just Collier County investing, but our company investing in a private public partnership. We want to see this event thrived here for many years.”

Several clothing brands were offered at the US Open Pickleball Championship such as; Pickleball Bella, Rhone men’s clothing, Franklin paddles and Lucky in Love.

Many of the players believe the clothing helps their game and, even brings a team together by creating matching outfits for game day.

Several players have expressed that buying pickleball clothes have been easier to purchase in Florida, than in northern states where pickleball is not as popular.

One player competing in the competition, Danelle Bartz, is on a traveling team around the country. While on her breaks, she says you can find her shopping for clothes for her next match up.

“I am a pickleball addict” said Bartz, “Everybody has their own style. It’s a way you can kind of be yourself, express your personality on the court.”

“I think our primary goal is not to mess it up” said Dee, “You know, because there’s a certain grass roots core and foundation of this event. I say it’s part Jimmy Buffett concert Park County Fair Park Festival, and Pickleball is at the center of it all so even if it grows and we do more to keep the park you know, vibrant.”

To view a list of the upcoming schedule, click here.

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