Relaunched AVP Tour Hopes To Make Salt Lake City A Regular Tournament Host
The revamped AVP Tour will hold its first official stop in Salt Lake City beginning Aug. 16, and AVP Chair Dick Carle said that he "doesn't see this tournament as a one-time event," according to Amy Donaldson of the DESERET NEWS. The Salt Lake City event, the "first time the AVP has held a competition in Utah," will be the first of seven for the league this year. It will feature 16 men's teams and 16 women's teams, and U.S. volleyball player Jake Gibb said, "This is going to be a great thing. Let's blow this thing up so we can keep coming back every year." Carle said, "The warm embrace we've felt lets us know we have an awful lot of potential for this partnership" (DESERET NEWS, 6/6). In Salt Lake City, Martin Renzhofer notes the AVP Tour has "signed the sport's top players to four-year contracts," including Gibb, Casey Patterson, Todd Rogers, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Jen Kessy and April Ross. Each event has a purse of $150,000, and Gibb hopes that the AVP "reaches 10 events in the next few seasons to get the total prize money closer" to $2M. CBS Sports will broadcast "five of the seven stops, including Salt Lake City, live." Although three sand courts "now exist at Liberty Park, the AVP plans on trucking in 1,500 to 1,700 tons of sand for at least five courts, including a temporary stadium that would act as center court and seat 1,600 spectators -- including VIP tents" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/6).
DOWN BY THE BAY: In Tampa, Lauren Carroll notes AVP organizers are "solidifying details" for the Sept. 13-15 AVP tournament to be hosted at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Farias Consulting Group CEO & Managing Partner Mario Farias said that six temporary courts "will be constructed in Vinoy Park, using about 100 metric tons of sand." AVP Owner Donald Sun said that the main stadium "will seat about 3,500 people." AVP consultant Al Lau said that the tournament "will have entertainment, but AVP is still solidifying a list of performers." They also are "finalizing a list of local sponsors" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 6/6).