USAV Awards 2018 Championships Sites to Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 23, 2017, 10:43 a.m. (ET)

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (May 23, 2017) – USA Volleyball announced today that Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix will host three of the organization’s signature national championship events in 2018.

The USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC) will head to Detroit for the first time and will be played June 25 to July 4 at Detroit’s Cobo Center. The USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships (BJNC) returns to Phoenix for the third time and will be played July 2-9 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The USA Volleyball Open National Championships returns to Dallas with competition May 25-30 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The USA Volleyball Annual Meetings will also take place in Dallas the week leading up to the Open.

The host city for the 2018 USA Volleyball Girls' 18s Junior National Championships will be announced by early June.

Sport Court is the official athletic flooring for all four events.

GJNC in Detroit

The GJNC, which will be in its 39th edition when it arrives in Detroit, will bring in 1,208 teams with approximately 12,000 players and over 25,000 spectators. A total of 26 titles will be awarded in five divisions and seven different age groups ranging from 11-and-under to 17-and-under.

“USA Volleyball was thoroughly impressed with Detroit as it hosted the 2015 USA Volleyball Open National Championships for adults,” Pingel said. “It is a city on the rise with a thriving downtown area where the event will be played at and most of the participants will be staying. There is no doubt in my mind that the 2018 GJNC will be one our finest.”

Boasting one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America, Cobo Center is downtown Detroit’s full-service convention space. In 2015, after a $279 million renovation, Cobo features 2.4 million square feet of usable space. Cobo pairs its accommodations with spectacular views of a restored international riverfront, on-site restaurants, a business service center and its very own Detroit People Mover railway station. For more information on the Cobo Center, visit detroitsports.org/cobo.

“When it was announced Cobo Center would undergo a $279-million renovation, we understood the future impact it could have on metro Detroit, and we’re ecstatic to see the transformation pay off by being awarded the 2018 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships,” Detroit Sports Commission Director Kris Smith said. “We’re confident the thousands of players, coaches and spectators will experience the tremendous energy and excitement currently taking place in our great American city.”

The GJNC economic impact on the host city has been significant in recent years. This year’s GJNC in Minnesota is expected to generate an economic impact of $55 million, including 59,000 hotel room nights. Indianapolis hosted the 2016 event and reported $59 million in economic impact.

Detroit recently hosted the 2015 USA Volleyball Open National Championships concurrently with the NORCECA Men’s Champions Cup that brought in USA, Canada, Cuba and Mexico. Detroit was also the site of the 1938, 1967 and 2015 USA Volleyball Open National Championships for adults.

Detroit has a long, successful history of hosting world-class events from the Ryder Cup to the Super Bowl, the MLB All-Star Game and the NCAA Men's Final Four. The region has the expertise and experience to showcase any event to the world and continues to experience a boon of new business, agricultural initiatives and large-scale city improvement plans. Concentrated areas of startups, independent retailers, fine food establishments, big brand name stores and entertainment options continue to surface, move forward and make headlines in Detroit, further proving the city is America’s great comeback story.

The Motor City boasts more than 36,000 hotel rooms and features a completely remodeled, state-of-the-art airport that handles 1,200 flights every day to and from 150 destinations on four continents. A rich array of cultural attractions, landmarks, outdoor activities and shopping helped Detroit be named 52 Places To Go In 2017 (New York Times, January 2017) and 6 Unexpected Cities For The Food Lover (National Geographic, January 2017).

For more information on the City of Detroit, visit visitdetroit.com.

BJNC in Phoenix

The BJNC, which will be in its 39th edition when Phoenix hosts the event, typically draws over 450 teams and nearly 5,000 competitors from across the country competing for one of 12 titles from ages 12-and-under to 18-and-under.

“Phoenix is a great partner to host our Boys’ Junior National Championships,” Pingel said. Boys’ volleyball is growing in the Phoenix area and is a fun destination for our participants. The city was a great host for this event in the early 2000s and they welcomed our adult national championships event with positive feedback on two separate occasions.”

The BJNC has previously been held in Phoenix in 2001 and 2003. More recently, Phoenix was the host city for the 2010 and 2014 USA Volleyball Open National Championships.

“On behalf of Visit Phoenix and our entire hospitality community, I am thrilled to welcome the 2018 USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships back to Phoenix,” said Visit Phoenix Vice President of Sales and Service Lorne Edwards. “We have long enjoyed a great relationship with USA Volleyball and are proud to have hosted several of their marquee events. These events are not only good for our economy, but also impacts our community especially as we transition into our softer summer period. We look forward to introducing you to everything in the Valley from our bourgeoning downtown to the beauty and charm of our Sonoran desert landscape.”

Opens in Dallas

The Open, formed in 1928 and run annually except two years due to World War II, will be in its 89th edition when it returns to Dallas. The Open typically draws 500 teams with 6,000-plus players converging on the host city. Players range in age from 18 to 80-plus with the oldest age division being the Men’s 79-and-Over bracket.

“The City of Dallas and the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center have become like a second home to USA Volleyball events,” Pingel said. “From great flight options into Dallas, ample hotels and restaurants within easy walking distance to the convention center and the great Texas hospitality, Dallas is always a great host for our event participants.”

The Open features three other championships running concurrently with the main event. In addition, championships for Special Olympics and Sitting Volleyball will be contested inside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Dallas has served a tremendous host city partner of many past USA Volleyball events. The Open Nationals been held in Dallas four previous times (1960, 1996, 2002 and 2011). The GJNC have been held in Dallas in 1998 and 2008, while the GJNC18 was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center this past April. The BJNC was also staged in Dallas in 1998 and 2016. Dallas has hosted two weekends of the FIVB World League as the U.S. Men’s National Team hosted Italy, France and Korea in 2012 followed by Russia, Australia and Bulgaria in 2016.

“Dallas is honored to serve as the host of the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in 2018,” Dallas Sports Commission Executive Director Monica Paul said. “We consider volleyball a strong part of our sports DNA here in Dallas and look forward to welcoming all of the USA Volleyball family, players, coaches, officials and fans in 2018.”

The Dallas Sports Commission estimates that the Open will have a $13.5 million economic impact on the city.

About USA Volleyball
Founded in 1928, USA Volleyball is a Colorado incorporated non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) as the National Governing Body for the disciplines of beach volleyball, indoor volleyball and sitting volleyball in the United States. USA Volleyball has over 325,000 registered members, 12,000 teams and 5,300 clubs nationwide. With an annual budget in excess of $31 million dollars, USA Volleyball supports the USA men's and women's senior national team programs for beach, indoor and sitting volleyball; youth and junior national teams, national championship events, coaching education, certification programs and grassroots development across all disciplines. USA Volleyball has a rich tradition of success as evidenced by winning an Olympic medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, four Paralympic medals since 2004 and capturing numerous World Cup, World Championship and Continental Championship titles. USA Volleyball is committed to and works toward opportunity for all to participate. It is an advocate for all Americans endeavoring to assure universal access to opportunities at all levels of the game. For more information on USA Volleyball, visit usavolleyball.org.