Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California is home to the PNB Paribas Open tennis tournament and for the past two years has also been home to the USA Pickleball National Championships. USA Pickleball - formerly USAPA - signed a 4 year contract with the facility to host the National Championships on the PNB Paribas tournament grounds. 2020 and 2021 would have completed the 4 year contract.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have attended the inaugural year in 2018 and last year’s event, and although it was cancelled for good reason this year, I’m so sad it’s not happening. This week I should have been there soaking up that sweet California sun.
If you weren’t able to go last year or the one before, I have to say that this tournament sets the bar for all other tournaments. Held in early November, USA Nationals has a very professional and expansive feeling to it. Without a doubt there ’s a slightly different vibe to it than the very fun and popular US Open held in Naples, FL. Both are amazing and well coordinated.
The Garden is a massive venue and truly one that pickleball could continue to grow into. Because there’s so many courts and very well spread out too, the centrally located vendor area ties the entire space together.
Behind the vendor area, right in the middle of the grounds is where athletes catch shade under the olive trees. Coming from Toronto at the end of October, it takes a few days to acclimatize to the hot climate. Of course, it’s fully equipped with multiple food options, a bar and plenty of tv’s airing the Centre Court action.
The entire venue has this backdrop of mountains which sets the perfect picture opportunity as the sun sets.
Fortunately, players who made it through the lottery system and/or earned a spot on the pre-registration list have their spots held and carried over into 2021. Now, all there’s left to do is hope that next year is safer for all of us, and we’re able to fly across the border. If this tournament isn't on your list ofmust go-to's in the future, I highly recommend adding it!