Inaugural Las Vegas Pickleball Open will crown a champ, and you can watch mostly for free

The Plaza Hotel & Casino has 12 dedicated pickleball courts on its pool deck. It will host the Las Vegas Pickleball Open from Sept. 25 to 29.
(Plaza Hotel & Casino)

The inaugural Las Vegas Pickleball Open is set for Sept. 25-29 at the Plaza Hotel & Casino. Fans will be able to watch most of the action for free.

Plaza Hotel & Casino
With a perforated ball and wooden paddles, pickleball is enjoyed by nearly 3 million Americans. Plaza Hotel & Casino

About 800 competitors will come to the city to play pickleball, a game most people know from P.E. classes at school. For the uninitiated, the game uses a perforated ball similar to a Wiffle ball and wooden paddles about twice the size of those used in ping-pong, according to the USA Pickleball Assn.

The Plaza resort has 12 pickleball courts on the hotel’s pool deck. Hundreds of players, amateurs and professionals, are to play daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in singles and doubles categories. There’s also a division for players 65 and older.

A purse of $25,000 will be shared by the winning pros.

A grandstand will be erected to seat fans, with six VIP boxes that offer food and wine packages.

Plaza Hotel & Casino
Pickleball players compete on the dozen, badminton-sized courts on the pool deck at the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. Plaza Hotel & Casino

Admission fees will be charged only for the semifinal and championship matches. Times and ticket prices will be posted on the tournament’s website.

The Sports & Fitness Industry Assn. reported that in 2017, 2.8 million Americans were pickleball players. That number was an increase of more than 12% over the previous year.

Info: Plaza Hotel & Casino, (800) 634-6575

Twitter: @latimestravel