Fontainebleau Las Vegas Pickleball Tournament to Debut in August 

The first professional pickleball tournament in Las Vegas is set to be held at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas luxury casino resort in August.

The Professional Pickleball Association handles paid tournaments for the fast-growing paddle sport. In 2023, pickleball had an estimated 5 million players, up 158% since 2020.

The six-day tournament is titled the PPA Tour Las Vegas Pickleball Cup. It will take place indoors from August 26 to September 1 in the Fontainebleau’s sprawling Royal Ballroom. 

Pickleball is an American sport invented in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s. It plays similarly to badminton and table tennis, but with a lowered net and its own unique ruleset. The sport exploded in popularity in the last few years, and several U.S. sportsbooks now offer betting on the pro scene in some states. But interestingly, not yet in Nevada. So fans won’t be able to bet on the games at the Fontainebleau’s sportsbook.

“We pride ourselves on being industry leaders in the live event, sporting, and entertainment space,” said a press release quoting Fontainebleau’s SVP of Entertainment, Fedor Banuchi.

“So to be able to play host to one of the fastest-growing sports in the world is an honor.”

The Tournament 

The main professional event will feature a doubles and singles tournament, each with 48 players or teams playing single elimination matches with two brackets. 

There will be other tournaments outside the main event. The five days will include two amateur tournaments: one for 1,000 players with round robin pools, and a $75 buy-in, $1,000 prize moneyball amateur game. 

Alongside that, amateur players looking to sharpen their pickleball skills will have the opportunity to learn from the pros. 

On August 26 and 27, amateurs can pay $400 for two six-hour coaching sessions with top pickleball pros. The package also comes with a courtside ticket to any day of the main event, as well as discounts on PPA merch and spirit equipment at the tournament shop.

The Venue 

However, the package doesn’t include accommodation at the luxurious Fontainebleau Las Vegas.

This announcement will be some good news for the troubled $3.7 billion venue, which has got off to an inauspicious start to life as Las Vegas’ newest giant luxury casino resort. 

It has been embroiled in a costly legal battle with rival Las Vegas Strip operator Wynn Resorts over employee poaching, as well as seeing half a dozen key executives leave just months after opening in December 2023. It’s also downgraded its loyalty program, and has been criticized for its food on social media. 

The 105,000-square-foot Royal Ballroom that will be hosting the Las Vegas Cup is a glitzy space. However, a quick look at the Fontainbleau’s event lineup shows not a single other public event booked for the space before then.

As for the other two large event spaces at the Fontainebleau, at least one has a public event listed this month. It’s hardly the headline draw of the UFC, but the controversially popular Power Slap league will be holding Power Slap 8: Da Crazy Hawaiian vs. Van Heerden at the resort’s Cobalt Ballroom on June 28.

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