SBD/Issue 129/Leagues & Governing Bodies

AVP Threatening To Downgrade, Relocate Manhattan Beach Open

AVP Wants To Add Entertainment, More Paying
Customers, Corporate Suites To Tournament
The AVP is "threatening to downgrade its Manhattan Beach event and take its marquee tournament elsewhere if it is not allowed to add entertainment and more corporate suites and increase the number of paying customers," according to Jeff Gottlieb of the L.A. TIMES. AVP Commissioner Leonard Armato: "We'll do it in Chicago or another community necessary to maintain its status." Armato said that for the three-day Manhattan Beach Open to "remain as what is often referred to as the Wimbledon of beach volleyball, 'the community will have to embrace everything necessary and required to keep that status.'" Armato: "The way to do that is to provide a more full and complete entertainment experience." Armato said that he "wanted to add other events, like concerts or fashion shows 'that make a major sporting event.'" He said that he "discussed his idea" with the Manhattan Beach City Council six years ago. Armato: "We've been struggling ever since to come to a mutually agreeable resolution of what the event should look like." AVP VP/Partnerships & Events Dave Klewan said, "Manhattan Beach, which we all love and is so historic, should be a slam-dunk for generating revenue. Unfortunately, we can't monetize it in the correct way." Gottlieb notes the AVP "sets up a temporary stadium with about 3,300 seats, where featured matches are played." Its agreement with the state of California's Coastal Commission allows the AVP to "charge for 24% of the seats." Tickets to last year's event cost $40-75, while there were six corporate tents, which cost $10,000-15,000. AVP VP/Operations Dave Williams said that the Manhattan Beach Open has the "most expensive fees of any stop on the 18-city tour, with the association paying about $100,000 to the city" and L.A. County. The AVP said that the tournament "brings about 20,000 people into town for the three days," but Manhattan Beach Finance Dir Bruce Moe said that city tax records "show no spike in revenue" (L.A. TIMES, 3/24).

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