Professional Pickleball comes to New Zealand, over 100K Prizes in the Auckland Open and Two New Zealand teams

  • PPA Tour Australia (PPAA) launches New Zealand’s first ever Professional Pickleball event, the Auckland Open, Easter weekend at the Albany Tennis Centre, Auckland.
  • Major League Pickleball Australia (MLPA) debuts New Zealand teams, Auckland’s NZ Hustle and Wellington’s Southern Stars. MLPA team owners include cricketing legend Steve Smith, the Miami Heat’s Patty Mills, and 5-time Olympian Nat Cook.
  • Over $100,000 in prize money and $700,000 in 2024.

SYDNEY, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — PPA Tour Australia (PPAA) and Major League Pickleball Australia (MLPA) are launching the Auckland Open, New Zealand’s inaugural professional pickleball tournament. The Auckland Open will take place at the Albany Tennis Centre over Easter weekend (29th-31st March 2024).

The Auckland Open marks a significant milestone for pickleball in New Zealand, showcasing the nation’s entry into the professional scene with over $100,000 in prize money. The introduction of the Auckland-based NZ Hustle, captained by Matt Carter, and the Wellington-based Southern Stars, captained by Jai Grewal, heralds a new era of competition and enthusiasm for the sport across the country.

As the premier event of its kind in New Zealand, this tournament is set to captivate pickleball enthusiasts, athletes, and fans with a weekend filled with high-caliber play, sportsmanship, and community engagement. Featuring the world’s leading Pro tour format (PPA Tour) and pro team format (Major League Pickleball), along with the support of celebrated team owners like Steve Smith and Patty Mills, the event promises an unparalleled pickleball experience.

“There’s a fantastic buzz around pickleball in New Zealand, and we’re thrilled to bring this professional level of play to Auckland,” said MLPA CEO Adam Thompson, “As a proud Kiwi, I’m excited to bring this event and the attention of this exciting and inclusive sport back home”.

MLPA President Anthony Liveris, added; “The Auckland Open will be a globally renowned tournament, establishing New Zealand as a pickleball powerhouse. We are thrilled to bring professional pickleball to Auckland and are grateful for the support of our international and domestic partners.”

Pickleball, a fast-growing racket sport that merges elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has gained immense popularity globally. The Albany Tennis Centre event begins with a celebration of pickleball through various competitions, including the debut matches for the NZ Hustle and Southern Stars.

For ticket details, the complete event itinerary, and partnership opportunities, please visit

Media Contact:



instagram. @ppatour.australia and @mlp.australia

About Major League Pickleball Australia and PPA Tour Australia:

PPA Tour Australia (formally Pacific Pickleball) is the official Professional Pickleball League of Australia featuring the top players, highest prize money, and best events across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. PPA Tour Australia offers two formats for athletes including Major League Pickleball Australia’s (MLP Australia’s) Pro Teams Format, and PPA Pro Tour Format for both Open and Masters 50+ Athletes, under PPL in partnership with Pickleball Australia Association (PAA). PPA Tour Australia aims to grow the total number of Pickleball players in APAC to 1 Million in 2032 by promoting the sport through world-class events, professional pathways for top players, dedicated pickleball venues, and strong partnerships at international, national and grassroots levels; on a journey to bring Pickleball to all.


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