The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), the premiere domestic professional beach volleyball tour in the U.S., today officially announced its 2016 schedule, which includes eight events in seven states, including the final FIVB Olympic Qualifying event in the U.S. before Rio, in Cincinnati. Tournaments will be held from April through July, with a break for the Rio Olympics in August leading into in the AVP Championships in Chicago in September.
The 2016 slate includes returns to successful AVP venues in New Orleans (April 15-17); Huntington Beach, Calif. (May 6-8); Cincinnati (May 16-21); Seattle (June 3-5); New York City (June 17-19); and Manhattan Beach, Calif (July 15-17); and the finals in Chicago (September 2-4). The AVP welcomes San Francisco (June 24-26) as a new city for 2016.
“This year’s schedule reflects the rising popularity of the AVP as we continue the resurgence of professional beach volleyball in the U.S.,” said fifth-year AVP Managing Partner Donald Sun. “In addition to bringing this exciting sport to fans in different regions throughout the summer, it will help prepare the world’s best players for Olympic competition in Rio.”
The slate is highlighted by the return of the longest-running and most prestigious event in the sport, the AVP Manhattan Beach Open; the FIVB Olympic Qualifying event in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio; and the AVP Huntington Beach Open, which since 2000 has hosted more AVP events (16) than any other location.
Each of the AVP’s eight tour stops (including the Championships) will feature three or four days of world-class beach volleyball competition featuring Olympic champions and world-renowned athletes competing in a family friendly atmosphere filled with great music, food and interactive activities.
The AVP is the exclusive domestic beach volleyball home of the nation’s top athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh-Jennings (2004, 2008, 2012), Todd Rogers (2008) and Phil Dalhausser (2008); Olympic silver medalists April Ross (2012) and Jen Kessy (2012); two-time Olympians Jake Gibb (2008, 2012) and Sean Rosenthal (2008, 2012), Olympian Nicole Branagh (2008), and Jenny Kropp, who teamed with Branagh as 2015 AVP Team of the Year.
The tour also features many up-and-coming stars who are helping build the future of the sport, including Casey Patterson, Theo Brunner, Summer Ross, Emily Day, Tri Bourne, Lane Carico, Trevor Crabb, Robbie Page, Amanda Dowdy and 2015 AVP Newcomers of the Year Taylor Crabb and Betsi Metter Flint. In addition to the rising stars already making waves on the AVP Tour, aspiring professionals will have the opportunity to earn their way into the company of the elite on the AVP through AVPNext – the AVP’s developmental tour – and open qualifying tournaments, increasing the intensity of competition.
Tickets for 2016 AVP tournaments will go on sale in the coming weeks, and information will be available at www.AVP.com.
2015 AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Schedule
April 15-17 – New Orleans Open, Laketown, Kenner, La.
May 6-8 – Huntington Beach Open, South Side of Pier, Huntington Beach, Calif.
May 16-21 – *FIVB Cincinnati Open, Lindner Family Tennis Center, Mason, Ohio
June 3-5 – Seattle Open, Lake Sammamish State Park, Issaquah, Wash.
June 17-19 – New York City Open, Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 and 26, Manhattan
June 24-26 – San Francisco Open, location TBD
July 15-17 – Manhattan Beach Open, South Side of Pier, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
September 2-4 – AVP Championships at Chicago, Oak Street Beach, Chicago
*Final FIVB Olympic qualifier in the U.S. prior to Rio Olympics