PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The first-ever World Pickleball Championship, in the history of the sport, is taking place this weekend at the new PicklePlex of Punta Gorda.
This tournament will be the facility's largest tournament to date, and it's expected to draw in an estimated 500 participants.
Players from across the United States and several other countries, including England, Brazil, and Mexico, are competing for the title of World Pickleball Champion.
Professional players are vying for their share of the $100,000 prize reward, while amateur players are competing in their age and skill category over this four-day event.
While tournaments like this are a great way to promote the support, organizers say these tournaments also help boost the local economy.
"We have held tournaments in June, July, September, October, and November, and we have already raised over $800,000 in an economic impact for Charlotte County," said Gloria Reilly, Treasurer for PicklePlex of Punta Gorda.
"You put another tournament like this on top of that, that's almost another $400,000 to $500,000 of an economic impact that could be generated," added Reilly.
Reilly says they won't know the exact amount until the tournament is over.
For more information on the World Pickleball Championship click here.