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Kansas City welcomes professional pickleball team

Kansas City Stingers to represent city with 'roots in being champions'
Kansas City Stingers
Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 25, 2024

LEAWOOD, Kan. — What was once U.S. Toy in Leawood is now SW19, a tennis and pickleball playground for adults.

"Kansas City, I think, was the most obsessed pickleball city in the country," said Daryl Wyatt, SW19 owner. "I've never seen anything like this with pickleball."

Now, SW19 is home to a professional team — the Kansas City Stingers.

"I'm turning 50 this year, so I was looking at playing in the league," said Wyatt, who is a co-owner of the Stingers. "In the process, I inquired about possibly owning a team, and now, all of a sudden, they came back and called and said, 'Yeah, we have a team available for '24.' ... [And] we were all on it."

Kansas City is one of six new expansion teams, making up 12 in the National Pickleball League.

Men and women over the age of 50 will make up the KC Stingers' roster.

"Bringing a pickleball team to Kansas City, which has its roots in being champions, and especially right now, we're riding a great wave," Wyatt said. "It means a ton. It brings a lot of exposure to the pickleball game in Kansas City."

After two combines in March and a draft in April, opening weekend is slated for May.

"We'll play six months, with the sixth month being the championship weekend, and then look for us," Wyatt said.

If you think you have what it takes, you can learn more about joining the team here.