International Volleyball Tournaments Expected To Bring Millions To Tulsa Economy
TULSA, Oklahoma - The USA Boys Volleyball Team is in Tulsa, warming up for three weeks of international volleyball tournaments. Those tournaments, and others like them, are making millions for the local economy.
The nineteen guys, just sophomores and juniors in high school, are from all across the country. They're said to be future Olympians. Their being in Tulsa, to compete for the Continental Championship, is expected to bring in $2.5 million.
"It's a great investment for us because it brings in the approximate 3,000 out of town individuals. They're staying in our hotels, they're eating in our restaurants, they're going to our attractions," said Vincent Trinidad, Tulsa Sports Commission Director.
The Tulsa Sports Commission's latest investment is in the Continental Championship, in which the USA Boys Volleyball Team is set to tip off against teams from Barbados, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Head Coach, Ken Shibuya, said, "It's unbelievable. The power, the athleticism and the intensity of the competition is spectacular."
Piggy-backing on that tournament, 100 U.S. boys and girls volleyball teams will bump, set and spike through the High Performance Championships.
Shibuya said that tournament is a chance to watch future Olympians play.
"We'll see these guys with a USA jersey in the Olympics, competing for a medal," he said.
Trinidad said tournaments like these bring in tens of millions to the Tulsa economy.
He said the Bassmaster brought in $20 million and next year's U.S. National Soccer Championship and Big 12 Baseball Championship are expected to bring in as much - if not more - than the $2.5 million expected from the international volleyball tournaments.
Their first game starts Monday night at the Cox Business Center, 6:00 against Nicaragua.