More than 750 of the world’s top professional and amateur racquetball players will return to Minneapolis this October for the world’s largest and most prestigious racquetball tournament the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships, October 4-8, 2017. The tournament will be contested at three Life Time Fitness venues throughout the Minneapolis metro area and the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center with all professional matches taking place at the Life Time Athletic Target Center.
Since moving to the Twin Cities in 2010, the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships has brought an estimated $6 million in annual economic impact to the area. Each year, 2,500 spectators join the 750+ players for this week-long celebration of racquetball. Of the entrants in the tournament, more than 100 are expected to be players from the State of Minnesota.
Another exciting feature of the event is the stunning all-Lucite acrylic portable court that highlights the racquetball stadium constructed in the Life Time Athletic Target Center facility near the basketball court used by the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.
The UnitedHealthcare US OPEN is racquetball’s original Grand Slam event and boasts the largest total prize purse in the sport. In addition to the marquee professional divisions, the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships offers more than 80 USA Racquetball (USAR) sanctioned singles and doubles divisions separated by age and skill.
The US OPEN partners with two prominent Minnesota-based companies UnitedHealthcare and Life Time Fitness --plus Sports Minneapolis to host the tournament. The professional divisions are contested at Life Time Fitness Target Center, while the amateur divisions are played among other Life Time Fitness facilities in the area as well as the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center.
Defending his championship in the men’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) division will be 12-time US OPEN Champion Kane Waselenchuk (Edmonton, Canada). From January 2009 to September 2013, Waselenchuk accomplished a professional racquetball record of 137 matches in a row. In 2012, the New York Times profiled Waselenchuk and his dominance of the IRT. (Article link: http://nyti.ms/2aig6lG).
Paola Longoria (San Luis Potosí, Mexico) is a seven-time champion (and the defending champion) in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) division. Longoria was the youngest player in the history of the sport to win a US OPEN with her first title in 2008, she was 19 years of age. In addition to winning the UnitedHealthcare US OPEN the past six years, Paola has won over 20 gold medals for Mexico while competing internationally. Longoria is a recipient of Mexico’s National Sports Award, and Forbes Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential women in Mexico.
For a preview of the racquetball action the US OPEN brings to Minneapolis, please visit the tournament’s official website at www.UnitedHealthcareUSOPEN.com