By Bill Kauffman

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 9, 2015) – USA Volleyball has announced that the City of Minneapolis will serve as the host city for two of its three signature national championship events in 2017 – the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC) and the USA Volleyball Open National Championships.

“Minneapolis has proven to be a great destination for our championship events,” said Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball senior director of indoor events and High Performance. “The city and venue are very experienced in meeting the needs of the event and its participants. Volleyball and Minneapolis are a great fit and we look forward to returning in 2017.”

The 2017 Open held for adults will be staged May 26-31 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Open, formed in 1928 and run annually except two years due to World War II, will be in its 88th edition when it returns to Minneapolis. 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.

Related: USAV Girls’ Junior Nationals Home Page | USAV Open Nationals Home Page

The Open features three other championships running concurrently with the main event. The Premier Volleyball League (PVL), a professional volleyball League using the layout of the USA Volleyball’s 40 Regional Volleyball Associations, crowns a men’s and women’s championship. In addition, championships for Special Olympics and Sitting Volleyball will be contested inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Just over a month after the Open, the 38th Annual GJNC will be held June 25 to July 4, 2017, in the same facility. The event will bring in 1,332 teams with approximately 13,500 athletes and over 25,000 spectators while crowning 28 champions in age divisions ranging from 11 to 18. The GJNC showcases the top talent from across the nation and draws nearly 500 college recruiters looking for the next stars for their programs.

“We’re very excited to welcome more USA Volleyball events to town in 2017,” said Sports Minneapolis Executive Director Scott Romane. “It’s a wonderful sight to walk into the 1.4 million-square-foot Minneapolis Convention Center and see it filled with courts and the sounds of volleyball in action. We’re frequently recognized as a healthy, active community, and the strength of volleyball in the state is a big part of that. When players and their fans come from across the country in 2017, they’ll find an even better Minneapolis. Nicollet, our major downtown street will be fresh off a major renovation, and the new U.S. Bank Stadium and other major developments downtown will bring new excitement and energy to town.”

While part of the 18s Division has been split apart from the main GJNC, Minneapolis will have two 18s Division titles including the 64-team 18 American Division and the newly formed 18 Continental Division. For the 2016 GJNC, the 18 Continental Division will have eight of the top 18s teams in the United States playing against four international teams.

“The Continental Division will debut in Indianapolis next summer, and we will evaluate the division and make necessary adjustments for 2017,” Pingel said.

Minneapolis has become a consistent hosting partner of USA Volleyball events, both in domestic and international competitions with seven competitions since 2003 arriving in Minneapolis. The GJNC has been held in Minneapolis twice previously in 2007 and 2014. Minneapolis has hosted the Opens in 1945, 2003 and 2009. Further, the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships have been contested at the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2006 and 2011. Minneapolis also hosted two FIVB World League matches in 2006.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States. It is home to world-class museums, lush parks and gardens, an active nightlife, shopping at Mall of America and five major league professional sports teams, including the Minnesota Twins during the summer months. For more information on Minneapolis, visit Minneapolis.org.
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