Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Business

Beach volleyball tournament coming to St. Petersburg

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Downtown St. Petersburg 2013 is a long way from the 2012 Olympics in London, but fast-moving, crowd-pleasing beach volleyball will soon link the cities. The Association of Volleyball Professionals has chosen Vinoy Park as the site of one of five tournaments in its upcoming Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.

Organizers estimate that 30,000 people will be on hand to watch professionals such as gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings compete in the sand Sept. 13-15, according to Mario Farias, the local consultant who courted the AVP on behalf of the city.

"All the best players in the world will be here, including American players, of course, since we won all the medals in the Olympics," he said.

Six temporary courts will be built to professional standards in Vinoy Park. The center court will seat 5,000 to 10,000 people, while five others will hold 500 to 1,000 fans, said Farias, managing director of Farias Marketing Group.

The final matches of the tournament will be broadcast on national television. Farias and Chris Steinocher, head of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, declined to say which network will air the event until the AVP makes its official announcement in coming weeks.

"It's a national network with three letters," Farias said, hinting strongly that the tournament and views of St. Petersburg will be aired on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox.

"It's another one of those world class events (like the Grand Prix). It will give us that opportunity to showcase our waterfront," Steinocher said.

The audience for beach volleyball is wider than that for auto racing, Farias said.

City spokeswoman Beth Herendeen and Kevin Smith, director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, also called the tournament a big coup for the city.

While it seems a done deal, the AVP hasn't applied for or received permits from the city.

The four other host cities are Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, and Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach, both in California.

The tournament will have 18 two-person male teams and 18 two-person female teams There will be slots for a local, amateur male and female team to qualify.

Welsh Jennings and partner Misty May-Treanor helped fuel the surge in the sport's popularity last summer when they won their third consecutive gold medal in London. Nielsen reported that 29 million people watched their final match.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Comments
Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Across country, small retailers aim for emotional ties big chains may lack

Associated PressSome smaller retailers will tug at shoppers’ heartstrings during the holidays, trying to create an emotional experience or connection that a big national chain might not provide.Store owners are going well beyond the usual holiday dec...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

Six years and counting: Allegiant Air reaches agreement with flight attendants

ST. PETERSBURG — After six years of negotiations, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and its flight attendants union reached a tentative contract to improve worker pay and benefits and solidify airline policies."We feel like it’s an agreement that is cert...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

Workers at luxury St. Pete condo tower say they are owed thousands

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly three dozen workers at ONE St. Petersburg, a luxury condo tower under construction in the heart of downtown, haven’t been paid in weeks and are owed thousands of dollars.With the holidays nearing, some of the men say they are ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Updated: 4 hours ago
More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports — and everywhere else

TAMPA — Here’s some travel math for this traditionally heavy day for long trips: More people carrying guns plus more people flying equals more guns going to the airport.The numbers bear this out. The federal Transportation Security Administration has...
Updated: 6 hours ago
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Florida Supreme Court suspends two Hillsborough lawyers

Times Staff WriterTwo Hillsborough County lawyers have been suspended from practice because of professional misconduct.The Florida Supreme Court ordered a 91-day suspension for Richard Luther Bradford of Brandon after he was found in contempt for fai...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

Get all the Black Friday sales circulars today. Here’s how

The Tampa Bay Times Thanksgiving Early Bird edition, with all of the Black Friday ads and sales circulars, is available today.That’s right. You don’t have to wait until Thursday to check out the savings. Weighing nearly five pounds, the Early Bird Ed...
Updated: 11 hours ago
U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

U.S. business leaders say Cuba is still open, at least to them, despite Trump’s new rules

WASHINGTON — When the Trump administration announced new Cuba regulations, it sparked a new round of hand-wringing in Washington over a return to a posture not seen since the Cold War. But now, the American business community is quietly spreading the...
Published: 11/22/17
Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Here’s when stores will open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Although the crowds might still be unruly and the lines long, Black Friday as "The Day" is slowly waning. Steve Kirn, a University of Florida professor and executive director for the David F. Miller Center for Retailing Education & Research, said the...
Updated: 3 hours ago