Tulsa Hosts International Men's Volleyball Tournament - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Hosts International Men's Volleyball Tournament

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Team USA plays France in a men's volleyball this weekend in Tulsa. Team USA plays France in a men's volleyball this weekend in Tulsa.
Fans pack the Convention Center for the professional match. Fans pack the Convention Center for the professional match.
Team France warms up before Saturday's big match. Team France warms up before Saturday's big match.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa Convention Center was packed Saturday night with fans watching an international sport. Fans and organizers say our local economy will see a boost from the FIVB Volleyball World League Tournament at the Convention Center.

It's not just the local fans who come in from all over that spend money - it's also the players and others participating in the international tourney. Organizers say the international teams do more than just play the sport, they head to our local malls and shopping centers to spend money and eat our local food

"It's exciting - it's pretty cool having different countries in and some of the best players in the world. It's a pretty cool scene," said Team USA fan Sean Marley.

The two-day volleyball tournament has been in Tulsa before. This year Team USA and France are playing in downtown Tulsa.

6/14/2013 Related Story: U.S. Men's Volleyball Tournament Comes To Tulsa Convention Center

The convention center could draw crowds up to 5,000 if the stands get packed. All this activity has brought worldwide attention to Green Country.

"We're bringing in a lot of international teams - the international team in France," said B.J. Evans, Team USA Volleyball.

"We're also bringing in international referees, international staff, and the first thing they all want to do when they come to the states is go shopping."

That's dollars spent right here in our area.

"When Brazil was here a few years ago, they dropped a lot of money at Best Buy in Tulsa. I know our referees have gone to the Apple Store - especially electronics and clothing because they can get it so much cheaper here," Evans said.

Local restaurants and hotels are benefiting from this tournament as well. But it's not just the local economies that reap the benefits, organizers of the tournament say putting this event on in communities across the country help with exposure to the sport.

"We try to bring the men out so people can see this isn't what you're playing in your backyard and this isn't girls volleyball, it's at an NBA level, just a different sport," said B.J. Evans, Team USA Volleyball.

"We love it. I like coming to Tulsa," said Sean Marley, Team USA fan.

I spoke to fans who came as far as Bella Vista, Arkansas to see the event. Tickets ranged from $15 to $25 dollars per person, and the game will also be broadcast worldwide.

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