St. Louis is on a sports team bonanza. We recently added a professional football and soccer team. Now, one more sport will join the pro mix: Pickleball.
Major League Pickleball announced a new team, the St. Louis Shock, on Thursday morning. The team is owned by businessman Richard Chaifetz, who is now part of a prominent group of team owners that includes LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Patrick Mahomes, Naomi Osaka and Anheuser-Busch.
"St. Louis is a community that has always been passionate about its sports teams and we are thrilled to bring a Major League Pickleball team to St. Louis,” Chaifetz said in a press release. “Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, by far, and we look forward to contributing to its growth and the league’s development for years to come."
Major League Pickleball also announced that Orlando will be getting a team, the Squeeze. The Shock will compete in the Premier League, the highest rung of pickleball ranks, while the Orlando Squeeze will form at the Challenger Level, the next level for up-and-coming teams.
We’re excited to introduce our final two MLP teams, the Orlando Squeeze and the St. Louis Shock as well as welcome four new sponsors as they join us on the Road to MLP Mesa! @HSpecialSurgery @DrinkCirkul #MLPMesa— Major League Pickleball (@MajorLeaguePB) January 19, 2023
🔗: https://t.co/gPO8FuJRn6 pic.twitter.com/cYD2B72OTB
The MLP website lists four players on the Shock, including Simone Jardim, Allyce Jones, Jay Devilliers and Erik Bjorn Lange.
The 2023 season begins next week on January 26-29 with a tournament in Mesa, Arizona. The semifinals and championship will be broadcast on the Tennis Channel, a first for MLP.
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