• Loading stock data...
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

Major League Pickleball Announces New Owners, League Format

  • Former ATP player Sam Querrey was first overall draft selection.
  • Celebrities Eva Longoria, Michael Phelps, Kate Upton among team owners.
Former ATP tennis player Sam Querrey returns shot
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The list of celebrity pickleball team owners keeps getting longer — and is becoming increasingly diverse across entertainment industries.

On Monday, Major League Pickleball held its Challenger Level draft, where owners selected the players for their teams.

With the first pick in the draft, the D.C. Pickleball Team —whose newly announced owners include actress Eva Longoria, soccer player Mesut Özil, model Kate Upton, and baseball player Justin Verlander — selected Sam Querrey, a former ATP tennis player making his debut in pro pickleball.

Other new team owners are similarly spread across the entertainment world.

  • NBA players Devin Booker and Jeremy Lin
  • Former NFL player Larry Fitzgerald
  • Tennis legend Chris Evert
  • Fashion model Heidi Klum
  • Country music star Dierks Bentley

American swimming legend Michael Phelps was also recently added as an owner, per Bloomberg.

“The diversity in the backgrounds and expertise of our fantastic new owners is an incredible asset as we aggressively expand Major League Pickleball to reach more fans than ever,” said MLP Interim CEO Brian Levine. “We always say pickleball brings people together, and this roster of leaders from across a wide variety of industries is a strong testament to that philosophy.”

For the first MLP season, all 12 Challenger Level teams will play each other in the first half of the season before switching to the Premier Level for the second half, and vice versa.

After the results of the 2023 season are finalized, the Premier and Challenger Level will be locked in for the 2024 season — where they will be subject to a promotion and relegation system going forward.

Following the expansion to 24 teams, MLP is offering up to $5 million in prize money and payouts for the 2023 season.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jun 21, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck holds the Larry O’Brien trophy prior to the Boston Celtics championship parade.

NBA Champion Boston Celtics For Sale

Wyc Grousbeck’s team just won the 2024 NBA Finals.
Jan 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie walks off the field after win against the New York Giants during an NFC divisional round game at Lincoln Financial Field.

Report: Jeffrey Lurie Exploring Sale of Eagles Minority Stake

A sale would be based on a $7.5 billion team valuation.
Jan 11, 2020; Austin, TX, USA; Mike Bloomberg kicks off his presidential campaign in Austin on Saturday, January 11, 2020.

Report: Michael Bloomberg Joins Battle for Timberwolves Ownership

The former New York City mayor is worth roughly $106 billion.
Athletes Unlimited

Athletes Unlimited Is Getting All Four of Its Women’s Pro Leagues on ESPN Platforms

The league is reducing its ESPN+ games to make room for other partners.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NFL’s 18-Game Season & Contract Holdouts, Olympics’ Newest Sport


Featured Today

The Perfect Storm Propelling ‘EA Sports College Football’ to Early Success

Growing fandom and a long wait have already reaped dividends for EA.
July 22, 2024

The FTC Noncompete Ruling Could Change MMA As We Know It

Fighters could see their options—and earnings—grow.
July 21, 2024

O No Canada: The Next Big Sports Betting Scandal Could Erupt North of the Border

‘It’s open-season for match-fixing up there.’
July 20, 2024

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.

Salt Lake City’s Olympic Host Deal Includes Last-Minute Doping Clause

Utah officials are now mandated to uphold the ‘supreme authority’ of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
July 22, 2024

WNBA All-Star Weekend Signals League’s Growth, Delivers Action

The WNBA All-Star weekend was a showcase of the league’s rise driven by rookies.
July 22, 2024

Sports TV Ratings Tend to Dip During Election Season, but Money Will Flow

Prior history suggests the upcoming election season will again prove disruptive to sports viewership.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 22, 2024

Chicago Sky Finally Ditching Suburban Rec Center As Practice Facility

Players have left and overlooked Chicago for teams with more investment.
July 21, 2024

After World Cup Buzz, Major League Cricket Finds Its Footing in the U.S.

Attendance is tracking to potentially surpass the 70,000 fans from last year.
July 18, 2024

Open Championship CEO Raises Alarm Over Golf’s Financial Future

The Open Championship is offering a record $17 million purse.
July 18, 2024

WNBA Appears Set to Extend Season to 44 Games in 2025

The Chicago Sky told season-ticket holders they ‘expect approval’ for change.