Greg Ball - AVP / BZA Public Relations
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Caitlin Switzer - The Ehrhardt Group
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KENNER, La. (March 2, 2015) - The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), along with the City of Kenner and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, announced today that the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour will return to the New Orleans area in 2015 for the first time in 16 years, as the AVP New Orleans Open will be held May 22-24 - Memorial Day weekend - at Laketown in Kenner, La.
The tournament will kick off the AVP's 2015 season and is expected to attract the best and brightest stars of beach volleyball, including three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings (2004, 2008, 2012), Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser (2008) and Todd Rogers (2008), Olympic silver medalists April Ross (2012) and Jennifer Kessy (2012), two-time Olympians Jake Gibb (2008, 2012) and Sean Rosenthal (2008, 2012), and Olympian Nicole Branagh (2008), as well as a number of up-and coming stars and hopefuls for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
For information on ticket availability and competition schedules, please visit www.avp.webconnex.com/NewOrleans.
"We're thrilled to be able to bring the excitement of AVP beach volleyball to Kenner and the New Orleans area over Memorial Day weekend to kick off the summer and get our 2015 season started," said Donald Sun, the AVP's Managing Partner. "This is an area that truly loves and supports the game, and we are looking forward to bringing some of the best athletes in the world here."
"The AVP New Orleans Open promises to be another world-class sporting event for the area," said Jay Cicero, President/CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. "Partnering with AVP and the City of Kenner, the Sports Foundation is excited to annually bring current and future Olympic medalists to a fan favorite destination. With the popularity of beach volleyball sure to dominate the Summer Olympics in 2016, and the increased profile of the sport, the timing of this partnership and the event is perfect."
"As home to the largest man-made sand volleyball complex in the country, it only makes sense for Kenner to become a stop for the AVP pro beach volleyball tour," said Mayor Michael Yenni. "We are excited to host this major sporting event and to give locals the chance to enjoy the incredible skills of the best volleyball players in the world."
The AVP New Orleans Open will feature 64 top men's and women's professionals competing in three days of main draw play preceded by a one-day open qualifying tournament. The competition will be held on four courts spread out across Laketown and will be surrounded by a high-energy atmosphere complete with great food, music and interactive activities.
The AVP played the last of its previous five men's tournaments in New Orleans in 1999, when all-time victories leader Karch Kiraly teamed with Adam Johnson to take home the tournament title. The last women's professional beach volleyball tournament in New Orleans was in 1995 under the direction of the WPVA, a few years before men's and women's tournaments merged under the AVP umbrella.
"Playing in the New Orleans area should be a lot of fun," Walsh Jennings said. "I have played beach volleyball in many states throughout the U.S. and countries across the world, but have never competed here, so I'm excited to get the chance to do so. As my partner, April Ross, and I prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics, we can't wait to get our season started."
"I'm really looking forward to starting off the AVP season with the New Orleans Open," Dalhausser said. "The people here are passionate about beach volleyball, and we can't wait to show off the amazing level of competition on the AVP Tour."
Information on the rest of the AVP Tour's 2015 schedule will be available soon at www.AVP.com.
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About The AVP
Established in 1983, the AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) produces, markets and distributes volleyball events worldwide, including the popular AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour. While promoting family-oriented events and supporting a healthy lifestyle, the AVP is best known for its world-class athletes, who have won numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the Olympic games. The AVP headquarters are in Costa Mesa, Calif.
About the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation
Organized in August 1988, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (GNOSF) is a non-profit 501(c) (4) organization whose mission is to attract and manage sporting events that have a positive economic impact on the Greater New Orleans area. Throughout its 26-year history, the GNOSF has hosted hundreds of events and turned a $28 million public investment in major events, into a $2 billion economic impact for the State of Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans area.