Pyramid in Long Beach to Host World League Matches

March 24, 2011, 2:14 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: (719) 228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 24, 2011) – USA Volleyball has announced that it will host its final 2011 FIVB World League Intercontinental Round (pool play) matches at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team, the reigning Olympic champion and ranked fifth in the world, will face 16th-ranked Puerto Rico on July 1-2 at the Pyramid, which is the home gym of the Long Beach State University’s volleyball and basketball teams.

Tickets for the Long Beach World League matches are on sale now and available by visiting the Long Beach State athletics web site, by calling the ticket office at 562-985-4949 or by visiting the box office (open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. starting June 6; the address is 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, Calif.).

General admission tickets will be $15 each while reserved will be $20. General admission tickets are discounted for groups of 20 or more, USA Volleyball and military members, seniors (60-plus) and youth (4-14). Children under 4 are free.

As previously announced, the U.S. Men will play world No. 10 Poland on June 17-18 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The following weekend, it will play twice against No. 1 Brazil on June 24-25 at the Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa (Okla.).

Long Beach, Calif., is approximately 26 miles from Anaheim, the Official Host City for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Volleyball Teams. Both teams train at the American Sports Centers.

“I am thrilled that we will be able to play World League matches in front of our hometown fans,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe, who is taking a leave of absence from Long Beach State, where he served as head coach from 2000-09. “I know the players, the staff and their families will appreciate being able to play these important matches in Southern California. I want to thank everyone who made it possible.”

Officials from USA Volleyball’s Southern California Region will also support the event.

The FIVB World League is an elite men’s volleyball competition in which the world’s 16 best teams are divided into four pools and play an Intercontinental Round for six straight weekends from May 27 to July 3. Each team plays every other team in the pool for two matches at home and two matches away.

The four pool winners and the four second-place teams advance to the Final Round, which will be held July 6-10 in Gdansk, Poland. As the host country, Poland will automatically advance to the final round, so only the winner or second-place team from its pool will advance.

The total World League prize purse is more than $20 million, with the winning team collecting a prize of more than $1 million.

The United States won its first World League title in 2008 and finished third in 1992 and 2007.

“We are glad to be able to bring World League to Southern California and its many volleyball fans,” USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal said. “We look forward to some big crowds and exciting matches against Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico is competing in World League for the first time in 2011. The U.S. Men last played Puerto Rico in 2008 at the NORCECA Continental Olympic Qualifier, where the United States defeated Puerto Rico twice to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The U.S. Men will open the 2011 World League in Poland on the weekend of May 27. Then they will travel to Puerto Rico the weekend of June 3 and to Brazil the weekend of June 10.

Ticket information will be available soon.

About the venues:

Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill.: The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team will be returning to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, just outside Chicago, for the fourth straight year in 2011. The Sears Centre Arena opened in 2006 and is home to the Chicago Slaughter of the Continental Indoor Football League.

Click here for the arena web site.

Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.: The U.S. Men’s Volleyball Team will be bringing World League to Tulsa for the first time in 2011. The Donald W. Reynolds Center opened in December 1998. The 138,000-square foot, $28 million multi-use facility includes an 8,355-seat arena. The facility is the home to several intercollegiate athletic programs, including men's and women's basketball along with women's volleyball.

Click here for the arena web site.

Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.: USA Volleyball will be bringing World League to the Walter Pyramid for the first time in 2011. The home of Long Beach State basketball and volleyball for more than 15 years, the Walter Pyramid has become a nationally recognized icon for the university and the city of Long Beach. Because of its dramatic appearance, its unique multi-purpose capability and its lure for television production, the Walter Pyramid is one of the finest collegiate athletic facilities in the western United States.

Click here for the arena web site.