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Avalon to host pro pickleball tour stop in September 2023

Avalon mayor Martin Pagliughi (left) and Association of Pickleball Professionals chief executive officer Ken Hermann announced an APP tour stop in the resort for September 2023 during a news conference held Monday.

One of the fastest-growing participation sports in America will be featured at the professional level right here in Cape May County next year.

Officials in Avalon, in conjunction with the Association of Pickleball Professionals, have announced that a professional pickleball tournament is planned for the resort in early September of next year.

The inaugural APP New Jersey Classic will be held at Avalon’s 8th Street pickleball complex Sept. 6-10, 2023.

A news conference hosted by Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi and APP chief executive officer Ken Hermann was held Monday to officially introduce the event.

“This is an exciting day for Avalon and for Cape May County, as a professional sports league has selected our region to hold a tournament that will be viewed throughout the world,” Pagliughi said. “Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States and Avalon is proud to welcome the top-ranked players in the world to the Jersey Shore.”

The event is expected to produce more than 1,000 overnight stays and generate more than $1 m,illion in direct and indirect economic benefits to the Cape May County area.

“We are thrilled to include Avalon as a tour stop in 2023 and the APP looks forward to a long-lasting partnership with the community and the region,” Herrmann said. “Avalon is a premiere seaside resort, deeply committed to the culture and popularity of pickleball, and has a great facility to host a major tournament. We look forward to working with the community and regional partners to make the APP New Jersey Classic as a top tour locale in 2023.”

Pickleball is a paddle sport similar to tennis but played on a court about one-third the size. Singles or doubles players hit a perforated hollow polymer ball back and forth over a three-foot high net. The sport was invented as a children’s game in the 1960s but has developed into a popular sport among adults and senior citizens.

The sport has become very popular in Cape May County. Permanent and portable pickleball facilities have been developed in numerous local communities in recent years, with more planned for the near future. The sport can be played both outdoors and indoors.

The inaugural APP New Jersey Classic is expected to draw many of the top tour professionals in the world and will include a senior pro tournament along with an amateur division in which locals and visitors can participate. The event is expected to be live streamed to a worldwide audience and could be broadcast on a major television network.

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