2023 USAP NATIONALS DAY-IN-LIFE: Dallas, Texas
Rain couldn’t dampen spirits of 30K+ pickleball enthusiasts attending week-long event
For all Texas loves about the state's expansive landscape (driving nonstop east to west = 10-11 hours), the 2023 USAP National Championships hosted in Dallas, TX last week was perfectly proportioned – a large-scale but intimate all-American event, in an all-American town (Farmers Branch, TX) celebrating the most popular sport in America at this time: Pickleball.
Too often mega-events confuse expansive layout as a hood ornament, spreading attractions across 1000s of acres, distancing attendees from one another in a manner so widespread you’re as likely to run into an acquaintance as you are to have your next meal on Mars (the planet – not Mars, TX, Silly!). But the USAP National Championships in Farmers Branch was different; from pro and amateur pickleball to great live music to out-of-this-world Texas cuisine, the USAP Nationals was vast in the immersive experiences enthusiasts love, from the moment you walked through the tournament queue and onto PICKLEBALL BLVD, you felt that great, Main Street U.S.A. vibe, surrounded by enthusiasts who share your passion for all-things pickleball as well as the fun stuff related to the sport – merch, entertainment, southern cuisine, and, of course, pickleball not only to watch (all the top-ranking pros were there, mixing and mingling with the crowd after competing) but also quite literally to play ball, vis-a-vis a median of pickleball courts that ran vertically down the middle of the boulevard for spontaneous open play -- free, accessible and fun.
Here are a few of TUNDRA’s fave moments captured while covering the event – stay-tuned for next week's docu-series about the event, featuring interviews with celebrities (the Golden Bachelor was there!), pros, spectators and tournament executives leading the industry today. (All photos: theTUNDRA.com)