Volleyball Tournament Is Phoenix Convention Center's First Big Event Since The Pandemic
After over a year of inactivity, the Phoenix Convention Center has returned to hosting large-scale events.
The center is often used for conferences and expositions, but this weekend, the spirit of competition returned to Phoenix in the form of the Volleyball Festival International Championships.
Over 500 teams from across the country traveled to Phoenix to compete this weekend.
Marnae Ferrin is the coach of one of the teams, coming from Spokane, Washington.
She says COVID-19 restrictions influenced practice most of the season, and that this is her team’s first opportunity for a travel tournament.
“Washington State was very closed down, and so my team didn’t even get to play their first tournament until early May, and so to have the opportunity to come and do something is really, it’s awesome because I thought they were going to miss the whole season,” said Ferrin.
Michael Klatt is the parent of one of the volleyballers participating in the tournament. His daughter’s team came from southern California. He says being able to see families and other participants after a long break has been a breath of fresh air.
“It feels wonderful. Getting back to normal, thousands of young ladies and the parents, it’s a small world in volleyball, several of the teams they’ve played over the four days they’ve played in other tournaments,” said Klatt.
Phoenix Convention Center booked 75 future events during the pandemic, meaning thousands of visitors coming to Phoenix to recover tourism revenue lost to the pandemic.