Naples, Florida (March 7, 2016) — Minto Communities has been named title sponsor of the first ever US Open Pickleball Championships (USOPC) to be held in Naples, April 26 through May 1, 2016, at East Naples Community Park. More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete for top prize money.  The US Open Pickleball Championships will be held in Naples for the next three years with the goal to make it an ongoing annual event.

According to USOPC founder and President Terri Graham, “We are very excited that Minto has joined us as title sponsor. It is the perfect partnership as Minto’s target audience is our target audience. Sixty-eight percent of Pickleball players are over age 55 so there is a perfect correlation between our audience and Minto’s homebuyers.”  Graham notes that organizers estimate that approximately 10,000 spectators will attend during the Championships dates.

Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala was instrumental in getting funding for the pickleball courts at East Naples Community Park, and in bringing the US Open Championships to Naples. According to Minto Senior Vice President William Bullock, "Commissioner Fiala brought leadership, enthusiasm and determination to the process of bringing another exciting amenity and event to the Naples community. The US Open Pickleball Championships will have a positive impact on Collier County's economy.

“Minto anticipated the growing popularity of this sport, and included pickleball courts in our newest communities. We are proud to be title sponsor of this event that will introduce a dynamic and entertaining sport to residents and visitors, and attract competitors from throughout the world to Naples,” adds Bullock.

Pickleball is considered to be America’s fastest growing sport. It is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two, three, or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball — similar to a wiffle ball — over a net.

The premiere six-day tournament will offer special "Gold Box" seating, event parties, live entertainment, fund-raising activities and special Kids' Day. Matches include men's, women's, mixed, junior's and wheelchair divisions.

About Minto Communities
Founded in 1955, Minto is a family-owned business that has grown over the last 60 years into one of North America’s leading builders, with more than 80,000 homes built, including 25,000 in Florida. Minto creates a wide array of award-winning new homes and resort-style master-planned communities to meet every lifestyle. The company has earned national awards and recognition that include consistently high rankings from Eliant Customer Service Surveys, Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) and multiple national awards in community and home design.

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