National pickleball tournament to draw nearly 800 players to Bend

Wes Gabrielsen and Erik Lange
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The Bend Pickleball Club has announced the city will host the Pacific Northwest Classic (PNC) from July 28th-August 1st.

The national pickleball tournament will take place at Pine Nursery Park and Pickleball Zone, and sponsored by Beaver Coach Sales.

Nearly 800 players from across the country will compete for a $25K purse over the course of the five-day event.

This year’s players range in age from 11 to 85.

“Nearly 75 percent of the PNC players are coming from outside of Central Oregon and about 60% are traveling from out of state, which really demonstrates a growing enthusiasm for this particular tournament,” said PNC Co-Director Christie Gestvang.

“We, along with Beaver Coach Sales and all of our PNC sponsors, welcome all players to Bend and wish them the best of luck in the tournament!”

The event is the only Northwest stop on the APP Tour, an international 18-tournament series.

Professional pickleball players Wes Gabrielsen and Erik Lange will act as co-hosts.

“Pickleball is still the fastest growing sport in the United States and for good reason,” said PNC Co-Director Kirk Foster. “It’s fun, it’s easy to learn, and it’s a great way to socialize while getting some exercise.

“For anyone who is curious about pickleball, this tournament is a fantastic way to see some great play and learn more about the game.”

Last year’s Pacific Northwest Classic was canceled due to COVID-19, and event organizers say this year will be bigger than ever.

Admission to the Pacific Northwest Classic is free to the public, and social distancing guidelines will be in place.

Event parking is limited an on a first come, first serve basis.

The complete tournament play schedule can be found at pickleballtournaments.com.

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