The AVP Tour announced Friday it has suspended operations, cutting short the 2010 beach volleyball season because it was unable to find new investors. Five more tournaments were planned for this season, including the Manhattan Beach Open, which AVP Commissioner Mike Dodd described as "our sport's crown jewel and the one event that showed us all we could dream big."
As the AVP (Assn. of Volleyball Professionals) Tour announced its beaching, the city of Manhattan Beach sprang into action to save their volleyball tournament.
"I think the most important information to get out to everybody is that the tournament will happen," California Beach Volleyball Assn. President Chris Brown told the Los Angeles Times. "Unfortunately, the details are a little hazy."
Brown said the tournament will run from Friday to Sunday as planned and would return to its roots — no stadium seating, no grandstands. "No bells or whistles."
The volleyball tournament will celebrate its 50th anniversary, albeit in pared-down fashion, Manhattan Beach recreation services manager Idris Al-Oboudi told the Manhattan Beach Patch. "It's going to be old school."
The Manhattan Beach Open is planned for August 20-22, 2010. Qualifying for the tournament was to be next week and details are still sketchy on how they will accomplish the qualifying rounds and if the TV sponsers will still cover the event.
The decision to shutdown the AVP Tour was made during a conference call among AVP staff and the members of the board of directors on Friday after months of scrambling for cash that would help the tour overcome the loss of sponsors in a rough economy.
"It is with a heavy heart that we must tell you that despite a valiant effort by all and a flurry of investor interest, we have been unable to secure the necessary financing to continue the season," said CEO Jason Hodell in the release announcing the shutdown. "Words cannot express our profound disappointment.''
AVP also beached the Hermosa Beach Invitational next month, as well as tournaments in Chicago, San Francisco and Cincinnati.
Bottom Line: AVP Tour is dead. Manhattan Beach Open is still alive but without the fanfare.