Kansas City Open Benefits Susan G Komen Foundation
When Kansas City’s iconic Kemper Arena looked like it was headed to demolition in 2017, few would have predicted that it would become one of the nation’s premier pickleball venues just a year later.
After a $39 million renovation, the facility is now known as HyVee Arena and sports two floors of pristine hardwood courts, allowing for a massive amount of pickleball play. The arena’s first sanctioned pickleball tournament was the Kansas City Open from Dink Pickleball. With over 200 players from 20 states and Canada, the tournament welcomed HyVee Arena to the pickleball world in a big way. At the same time, the Mid-America Indoor Senior Series added 100 more players to the mix, creating one epic pickleball event. Players weren’t just there for the love of the game though. In partnership with the Susan G Komen Foundation and with generous help from Dink’s industry sponsors, the tournament raised $1,060 to pitch in to battle breast cancer. This co-branded partnership approach was the first of its kind in Kansas City, with the Foundation’s iconic pink ribbon being a core part of the tournament brand.
HyVee Arena will continue to be a hub for Dink Pickleball events. Up next is the Doo Wop Sock Hop, a fundraiser to provide socks to those in need, as well as tournaments in January and May. Dink’s iconic non-competitive pickleball festival returns to the arena in September.