AVP Crocs Tour returns to Coney - Volleyball stop leads to Beijing games

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Gluttons stuffing their face with hot dogs may still be the hottest draw in Coney Island, but the glistening, barely clad young bodies of Olympians competing on the beach is catching up.

This year’s AVP Crocs Tour Brooklyn Open volleyball tournament will feature a tune-up for this summer’s Beijing Olympics as all eight members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic beach volleyball team will compete.

The 3rd annual event on the professional volleyball circuit will come to Coney Island Friday through Sunday, July 19-20.

“We are thrilled to bring another exciting AVP Crocs Tour Brooklyn Open event to New York City, where we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tour,” said Leonard Armato, CEO and Tour Commissioner.

“Brooklyn is an outstanding market with some of the most loyal and enthusiastic sports fans who have shown how much they enjoy the high energy of pro beach volleyball,” he added.

Armato also thanked co- promoter Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE), who in partnership with Atlantic Yards (Forest City Ratner Companies), is responsible for selling all local sponsorships, tickets, hospitality, and concessions for the tournament.

Sponsors for the tournament include Cushman & Wakefield, ADT, Barclay’s, National Grid, US Army, Snapple, Zebra Pen, Gianni NY, NYMEX, EmblemHealth, Hospital for Special Surgery, Brooklyn Burger, and the New York Sports Museum.

“We are striving to make this tournament an exciting event for the borough and to put on another great show for current and future volleyball fans on the beach,” said BSE Vice President Chris Brahe.

“This is also an important opportunity for Brooklyn once again to be showcased on NBC and for the nation to watch eight U.S. athletes who will be competing in the Beijing Olympic Games.”

Among the Olympians slated to play is Jake Gibb, 32, who with his partner, Sean Rosenthal, will represent the United States this summer in China in the two-man beach volleyball competition.

“We’ve been there the last two years. It [Brooklyn] is a great stop for us. They hold a great tournament and the fans are very knowledgeable and appreciate the right plays,” said Gibb, who is originally from Utah, but now lives in Southern California.

Gibb, who visited Nathan’s last year for a hot dog, said that beach volleyball has smaller courts than the indoor play and features two-person teams.

As in the past two years, the AVP will construct a temporary 4,000-seat stadium, as well as 11 outer courts that will offer general admission seating.

The stadium will be located along the Coney Island Boardwalk and West 21st Street.

Competition begins at 9 a.m. Friday July 18 and Saturday, July 19, and at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday.

The men’s final is slated from 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday, while the women’s final is set for 2:30-4 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased for each of the three sessions by calling 718-702-5246 or at the event box office on the day of the event. General admission tickets are $20.

For more information, log onto

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