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HomePickleball NewsUSA Pickleball News2024 Beer City Open Pickleball: Exciting Action in Michigan

2024 Beer City Open Pickleball: Exciting Action in Michigan

2024 Beer City Open: The Beer City Open has emerged as a prominent event in the world of pickleball, blending competitive sportsmanship with community spirit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded by Andrea Koop and Paul Richards, this tournament not only showcases top-tier pickleball talent but also fosters local park improvements through its unique nonprofit approach.

Origins and Founding

In 2018, Andrea Koop, a local lawyer and growing pickleball enthusiast, teamed up with Paul Richards, a retired wealth management adviser and avid pickleball player himself, to introduce the Beer City Open to Grand Rapids. Andrea, having started playing pickleball in 2017, quickly identified a gap: major pickleball events primarily took place in states like Florida, Utah, Arizona, and California. She believed Grand Rapids, with its growing pickleball community, was ripe for hosting a premier pickleball tournament.

Paul Richards initially rejected Andrea’s idea for the Beer City Open. However, after a few rounds of pickleball and perhaps influenced by the social lubricant of Michelob Ultra, Paul changed his mind. Thus, with their shared vision and the support of local pickleball leaders, the Beer City Open was born.

2024 Beer City Open

Nonprofit Model and Community Impact

What sets the Beer City Open apart is its nonprofit framework. All proceeds from the tournament are reinvested into the Belknap Enhancement Fund, aimed at enhancing Belknap Park, the tournament’s venue. Over the years, the Beer City Open, in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Pickleball Club, has contributed over $100,000 towards park improvements. These enhancements include court resurfacing, new court installations, and upgraded lighting, all aimed at transforming Belknap Park into a top-tier pickleball facility in the Midwest.

The organizers of the Beer City Open strive to ensure that each year, returning players notice upgrades at their beloved park, creating a sense of community ownership and pride among participants.

Evolution and Growth

Since its inaugural tournament in 2018, the Beer City Open has experienced exponential growth. What began with $12,500 in prize money and 400 participants has steadily grown into a major event on the pickleball calendar. By 2022, with the support of a new major partner, Amway Hospitality Group, the tournament boasted $90,000 in pro prize money and drew 900 participants from over 20 countries on the professional side alone.

In 2023, the Beer City Open continued its upward trajectory, offering pro payouts exceeding $100,000 and attracting a total of 1,000 players across amateur and professional categories. Alongside AHC Hospitality Group, the event welcomed New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Ale as a new beer sponsor, further enhancing the tournament’s profile and community engagement.

Venue Details

The Beer City Open is held annually at Belknap Park, a sprawling recreational area located just north of downtown Grand Rapids. Belknap Park, renowned for its picturesque surroundings and community-centric amenities, serves as the ideal venue for the tournament’s festivities.

Belknap Park features 19 dedicated pickleball courts, all meticulously maintained to meet professional standards. These courts provide ample space for simultaneous matches across various categories, ensuring a seamless experience for participants and spectators alike. The park’s strategic layout and modern amenities, including shaded seating areas and accessible parking, contribute to the tournament’s reputation as a premier pickleball destination in the Midwest.

2024 Beer City Open

 

Beer City Open Match Timings and Format

The Beer City Open features a robust schedule designed to accommodate players of all ages and skill levels. The tournament typically spans several days, each dedicated to specific events such as singles, doubles, and mixed doubles across various age groups and skill levels.

Here are the detailed match timings for each day of the Beer City Open 2024, categorized by event and skill level:

Thursday: (11 July)

Start Time Event Teams Matches
7:30 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (50 To 59) 15 29
7:30 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (12 To 49) 11 21
7:30 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (60 And Above) 11 21
8:30 AM Women’s Sr. Pro Doubles 8 12
9:00 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 12 23
10:00 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (12 To 34) 7 13
11:00 AM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (50 To 59) 10 19
12:00 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (35 To 49) 11 21
1:00 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (12 To 34) 11 21
2:00 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (50 And Above) 10 19
2:30 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (5.0) Age: (35 And Above) 8 15
3:00 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (5.0) Age: (12 To 34) 7 13
3:30 PM Womens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (35 To 49) 6 11

Friday: (12 July)

Start Time Event Teams Matches
7:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (35 To 49) 17 33
7:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (5.0) Age: (12 To 34) 13 25
7:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (12 To 34) 11 21
8:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (50 To 59) 10 19
9:00 AM Mens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 10 19
9:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (12 To 34) 12 23
10:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (35 To 49) 13 25
11:30 AM Mens Singles Skill: (4.5) Age: (35 To 49) 11 21
12:30 PM Womens Singles Skill: (4.5) Age: (12 And Above) 6 11
1:00 PM Mens Singles Skill: (4.5) Age: (12 To 34) 11 21
1:30 PM Mens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (50 To 59) 6 11
2:00 PM Womens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (12 To 34) 6 11
2:30 PM Womens Singles Skill: (5.0) 12 23
3:00 PM Mens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (60 And Above) 9 17
3:30 PM Mens Singles Skill: (5.0) Age: (35 To 49) 5 10
4:00 PM Womens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (35 To 49) 7 13
4:30 PM Womens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (12 To 34) 8 15
5:00 PM Mens Singles Skill: (5.0) Age: (50 And Above) 6 11
5:00 PM Womens Singles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 5 10
5:00 PM Womens Singles Skill: (4.0) Age: (35 And Above) 5 10

Saturday: (13 July)

Start Time Event Teams Matches
7:30 AM Mixed Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (35 To 49) 16 31
7:30 AM Mixed Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (12 To 34) 15 29
8:45 AM Mixed Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (12 To 34) 14 27
10:00 AM Mixed Doubles Skill: (5.0) 12 23
11:15 AM Mixed Doubles Skill: (4.5) 12 23
12:30 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (12 To 34) 11 21
1:45 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (5.0) 9 17
3:00 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (50 And Above) 8 15
4:15 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (35 To 49) 7 13
5:00 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (60 And Above) 6 11
5:00 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 6 11
5:00 PM Mixed Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 6 11

Sunday: (14 July)

Start Time Event Teams Matches
7:30 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (5.0) Age: (12 To 34) 16 31
7:30 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (12 To 34) 13 25
7:30 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (50 And Above) 12 23
8:45 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (12 To 34) 12 23
9:45 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (35 To 49) 10 19
11:00 AM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.0) Age: (50 And Above) 8 15
12:15 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (12 To 34) 7 13
1:30 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (35 To 49) 7 13
2:45 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (4.5) Age: (50 And Above) 6 11
3:30 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (5.0) 5 10
4:15 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (35 To 49) 4 7
5:00 PM Mens Doubles Skill: (3.5 And Under) Age: (60 And Above) 4 7

 

Note: Participants are not allowed to compete in more than one event on the same day to ensure fairness and manage scheduling logistics effectively during the tournament. This comprehensive schedule ensures that players have ample opportunities to compete and showcase their talents across different formats throughout the tournament.

Tournament Logistics

Registration for the Beer City Open is managed through a lottery system to ensure fairness and equal opportunity for all participants. Prospective players must indicate a partner at the time of registration, with both individuals required to be registered and waivers signed to be eligible for the lottery. The tournament utilizes the UTPR for registration and seeding, emphasizing the importance of playing at appropriate skill levels to maintain competitive integrity.

Throughout the tournament, matches are primarily played outdoors at Belknap Park, taking advantage of its 19 concrete courts and vibrant atmosphere. In the event of inclement weather, the Grand Rapids Racquet & Fitness Club serves as the indoor backup facility, equipped with a matching surface and ball type to ensure continuity of play.

2024 Beer City Open

Community and Economic Impact

Beyond its competitive aspects, the Beer City Open 2024 has significant economic implications for Grand Rapids. The event attracts pickleball enthusiasts and spectators from across the globe, generating substantial visitor spending estimated at nearly $1 million annually. This influx of tourism not only supports local businesses but also elevates Grand Rapids’ reputation as a premier destination for sports tourism.

Moreover, the tournament’s nonprofit model underscores its commitment to community enrichment. By reinvesting all proceeds into Belknap Park, the Beer City Open not only enhances recreational facilities but also fosters a sense of community pride and engagement among residents.

The Beer City Open 2024 stands as a statement to the power of sport in fostering community, promoting healthy lifestyles, and driving economic growth. From its humble beginnings to its current stature as a main event on the pickleball circuit, the tournament presents the passion and dedication of its founders, Andrea Koop and Paul Richards, in creating a lasting legacy for Grand Rapids and the sport of pickleball.

As the Beer City Open 2024 continues to evolve and expand its reach, it remains a beacon of sportsmanship, camaraderie, and community impact, embodying the true spirit of pickleball and setting a standard for future tournaments in the Midwest and beyond. For players, spectators, and sponsors alike, the Beer City Open promises not just thrilling competition but also an opportunity to contribute to the growth and vitality of local communities through the joy of sport.

News in Brief: 2024 Beer City Open

The Beer City Open, founded by Andrea Koop and Paul Richards in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has grown into a premier pickleball event since its inception in 2018. Known for its nonprofit model, all proceeds are reinvested into Belknap Park, funding improvements like court upgrades and lighting. With $100,000+ in pro payouts and 1,000+ participants, the tournament has become a highlight on the pickleball calendar, drawing global talent and generating nearly $1 million in local economic impact annually. Held at Belknap Park’s 19 courts, the event offers diverse matches across singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, emphasizing fair play and competitive integrity through a UTPR-based registration system. Beyond competition, the Beer City Open presents community enrichment, uniting sportsmanship, local pride, and economic vitality in a celebration of pickleball’s growing influence.

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