WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Many people are still learning about the sport of pickleball and don't know that Wichita is gaining national attention as a professional hub for the sport.
“So the top 16 pros from all over the country are here for this weekend,” said Wisconsin contestant Dave Weinbach.
Wichita is turning into a hot spot for pickleball; not only casually but professionally as well.
Weinbach said, “It’s a very very special event, a very unique event, one of a kind, it’s never happened before. And it’s been one of the largest payouts in the history of pickleball.”
Seeing enthusiasm for the racquet sport in Wichita, Chicken N Pickle partnered with sponsors to host the Franklin Pickleball Masters tournament.
“Pickleball’s just grown so fast. Wichita’s been such a great place, even before we came, we knew there was a following of pickleball players here,” said Chicken N Pickle Vice President of Business Kellan Mumm.
Weinbach also said, “It’s grown so quickly, so much. There are new courts going up all the time.”
"You know, the crowds have been awesome this weekend," said Mumm. "So just goes to show that there are that many fans here and from out of town that came to Wichita.”
“Bringing this tournament here and bringing all the top pros and a lot of sponsors has elevated the pickleball in Wichita to whole new levels. And my hope is that this is just the start,” said Weinbach.
“That’s why the pickleball community is so close knit. It’s just everyone has a great time, you fall in love with it,” said Mumm.