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Orlando Squeeze to Join Mid Season Tournament in Grand Rapids

Orlando Squeeze to Join Mid Season Tournament: As Major League Pickleball gets ready for its mid-season tournament in Grand Rapids, the anticipation among players and fans alike is noticeable. Owned by Ryan DeVos, the Orlando Squeeze franchise has chosen the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel as their base for the upcoming event, set to unfold at Belknap Park from July 10-14. With the sport’s rapid growth and community popularity driving its popularity, DeVos aims to raise pickleball from a beloved recreational activity to a professional spectacle.

This week, the Orlando Squeeze, a Major League Pickleball team under the ownership of Ryan DeVos, has established their base at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in preparation for the mid-season tournament of Major League Pickleball, planned to take place from July 10-14 at Belknap Park.

Pickleball’s popularity caught DeVos’ attention, DeVos noted that pickleball was gaining significant progress, with people actively playing, interacting, and engaging with the sport. He saw this trend as a valuable opportunity to convert local players into dedicated professional fans.

“We saw pickleball was really taking off, and people were playing it, people were interacting with the sport and engaging with it, We thought it was a good opportunity to transition those grassroots players to becoming professional fans.” -(Ryan DeVos)

Preparations are in fully operational as the Squeeze fine-tunes their game for the 22-team double-elimination tournament. Since acquiring the team in 2023, DeVos has focused on expanding pickleball’s reach. “We’re all kind of figuring it out and figuring out how to get all the, 30 plus million people who are playing pickleball on a regular basis…over to watch actual professional,” DeVos said. “It’s been fun and daunting at the same time, but it’s kind of a test lab.”

The team roster highlights Vivienne David, who transitioned to professional sports after a stint at her father’s tennis and pickleball retail store in Southwest Florida. 

My personal favorite thing is you can see grandparents playing with their grandchildren,” David said. “You don’t have to be a top, like extremely athletic to play it. If you have a little eye-hand coordination, you can.

Joining David is Tyson McGuffin, a pioneer and ambassador for the sport, renowned for his deals with Skechers. “The main focus for me since day one was just trying to be as marketable as I can build my brand,” mentioned McGuffin. “When I’m all said and done, I…want to have a foundation to fall on.”

Major League Pickleball’s mid-season tournament marks another milestone in the sport’s growth trajectory. However, both players highlights that the league’s ambitions extend far beyond current achievements. “… I want to see it grow internationally. We want to be on bigger TV networks. We want bigger prize pools, and we want to see as many people out here as we can playing.” McGuffin expressed passionately.

David said similar sentiments, foreseeing pickleball as a gateway sport for many young athletes. “I think a lot of the juniors that start just with Pickleball is going to take it to a whole another level, really excited to see…juniors playing, and I don’t know, eventually kicking my butt,” she said. “Then obviously…the Olympics. I’d love to see that.”

The Orlando Squeeze to Join Mid Season Tournament

News in Brief: The Orlando Squeeze to Join Mid-Season Tournament

The Orlando Squeeze, owned by Ryan DeVos, is getting ready for Major League Pickleball’s mid-season tournament in Grand Rapids at Belknap Park. DeVos, recognizing pickleball’s growing popularity, aims to elevate the sport from recreational to professional status, attracting a broader fan base. The team, practicing at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, features players like Vivienne David and Tyson McGuffin, both influential in promoting pickleball’s accessibility and appeal. With ambitions for international growth, expanded TV coverage, larger prize pools, and potential Olympic recognition, pickleball continues to evolve under DeVos’ leadership, poised to captivate new generations of players and enthusiasts alike.

Our Readers Queries:

Ques: Who is the owner of Orlando Squeeze?

Ans: The owner of the Orlando Squeeze is Ryan DeVos, a prominent figure known for his leadership in sports management and development within the Orlando community.

Also Read: 2024 Major League Pickleball Season Kicks Off with Thrilling Events

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