USAV Announces Two World League Host Cities

Feb. 17, 2011, 5 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 17, 2011) – USA Volleyball has announced that Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Tulsa, Okla., will host 2011 FIVB World League matches featuring the U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team.

The U.S. Men’s National Team, the reigning Olympic champion and ranked fifth in the world, will play two matches against world No. 10 Poland on June 17-18 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The following weekend, it will play twice against No. 1 Brazil on June 24-25 at the Reynolds Center at the University of Tulsa.

The team will play No. 16 Puerto Rico the following weekend (July 1-3) at a U.S. city that is still to be determined.

It will be the U.S. Men's fifth appearance at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates and their first appearance in Tulsa. Officials in both cities expressed excitement to host the FIVB World League.

“We are honored to host this class of extremely talented, dedicated Olympic athletes,” said Ray Hoyt, Tulsa Sports Commission executive director. “Through our partnership with TU, we’re able to attract world-class sporting events such as this, which brings visitors, dollars and recognition to our city. We look forward to their visit and hope it’s the first of many.”

“We are thrilled to welcome a world class volleyball event like the USA vs. Poland match, this June,” said Global Spectrum’s Ben Gibbs, General Manager of the Sears Centre Arena. “We are looking forward to huge crowd support from both sides as the popularity of volleyball in this area is strong.”

Fans in Hoffman Estates, Ill., show their love for the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team during the 2010 FIVB World League. Photo by Rob Grabowski for the FIVB. Photo: Rob Grabowski/FIVB Fans in Hoffman Estates, Ill., show their love for the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team during the 2010 FIVB World League. Officials from USA Volleyball’s Oklahoma and Great Lakes regions will also support the events.

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. Every 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 U.S. Men’s National Team has an exciting pool this year and we look forward to hosting Brazil, Poland and Puerto Rico at some great venues,” said Doug Beal, CEO of USA Volleyball. “These are all teams that the U.S. Men could be meeting again at the 2012 Olympic Games.”

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

“World League takes on extra importance to our team this year as we prepare for the first Olympic qualifying tournament in November,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Alan Knipe. “Fans at the matches can expect to see men’s volleyball at the highest level.”

Brazil has won the last two World League titles and nine World League titles overall. It also won the 2010 World Championship.

The U.S. last hosted Poland at the 2006 World League matches in Salt Lake City, Utah. Poland has never medaled at World League. This is Puerto Rico’s first year in the World League.
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.