The AVP Pro Beach Volleyball tour is coming to Salt Lake City this weekend for the first time. Participants kicked off the events today by joining forces with a local asphalt and paving company to donate more than 1,800 tons of tournament quality sand to refurbish existing courts at Liberty Park.
The AVP Salt Lake Open is the first of seven stops on the tour and will feature gold medal Olympians as well as local volleyball pros like Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson. While thousands of Utahns are expected to enjoy the action on the courts this weekend, the donation of tournament quality sand and nets from Staker Parson Companies and the AVP will benefit locals well after the tournament is over. At least that’s how Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker sees it.
“It’s not only big for this event but we will now have the sand for hosting competitions, for hosting big tournaments here in Salt Lake City,” he says.
Workers at Staker Parson took the sand from the mouth of Ogden canyon and refined it to meet the AVP’s strict standards. It mimics the sand found on the world’s best beaches. Scott Parson is the president of the company. He says he’s excited about the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the sport.
“Volleyball is a great sport," he says. "We thought as a business, our leaders kind of teamed together, and we thought this is a great way to leave a legacy for the residents of Salt Lake City and Utah.”
AVP’s Managing Partner, Donald Sun, says he hopes the donation of the courts will help foster a long-term partnership with the city. He expects to hold events here on a regular basis. Matches begin at Liberty Park this Friday. The championships will be played on Sunday and will air live on the CBS Sports Network.