City to host 2017 volleyball championships

USA Volleyball Managing Director Tom Pingel announces two championship events will return to Minneapolis. Credit: Photo by Eric Best

Minneapolis will host two USA Volleyball events in 2017 that are expected to bring in $65 million for the city.

Meet Minneapolis, the city’s tourism and hospitality arm, announced Friday that the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships and USA Open Volleyball Championships will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in late June and late May next year. Officials expect the two events to draw nearly 45,000 people, including 20,000 athletes, to the city. 

The convention center hosted the Junior National Championships in the summer of 2014 and will once again be transformed into a volleyball arena for the event, this time with 70 courts for approximately 1,300 teams. Sports Minneapolis, the sports tourism division of Meet Minneapolis, expects the crowds and athletes to fill 59,000 hotel room nights, driving a $55 million impact. 

The Open National Championships were lasted hosted in Minneapolis in 2009 and will bring an estimated 500 teams and an expected $10 million to the city. 

The combined $65 million economic boost is greater than last summer’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was estimated to create $50 million for the city.

Mayor Betsy Hodges said bringing in events like the Super Bowl in 2018 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019 reflects the city’s interest in healthy lifestyles and becoming a nationwide sports destination.

“The economic impact that we experience as the city of Minneapolis is huge,” she said at a press conference Friday.

The announcement was held at the Lifetime Target Center, which is currently hosting the U.S. Open Racquetball Championship and will continue to do so through 2019. 

“Minneapolis is proven to be a great destination for our championship events,” said Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball managing director, in a statement. “Volleyball and Minneapolis are a great fit and we look forward to returning in 2017.”