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    AVP Crocs Pro Beach Volleyball Adding LB To 2007 Tour, July 19-22

    (March 1, 2007) -- AVP Crocs Professional Beach Volleyball is adding Long Beach as the newest stop on its 18-city 2007 U.S. tour during the weekend of July 19-22.

    The announcement was made by LB Sea Festival Executive Director Chris Pook at a March 1 press event on LB's Marina Green attended by LB Mayor Bob Foster, Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May-Treanor and (not visible in photo) Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal and AVP Tour Commissioner/CEO Leonard Armato.

    The AVP Long Beach Open events will be televised nationwide on NBC and will take place in stadium/volleyball facilities to be placed just off East Shoreline Drive [map below provided with City of LB release], organizers said.

    Source: Digital image accompanying City of LB release

    Leonard Armato: For four years we've been trying to come to this beautiful city, and Chris [Pook] I know has been working on it diligently for that long period of time, so thank you Chris for...not giving up and doing everything you could to bring us here, you finally made it happen. And I know a lot of city officials worked along the way to help Chris. [Parks & Recd Director] Phil Hester, I know you worked on this. I know City Manager Jerry Miller worked on this. I know Reggie Harrison, all the city staff. [Councilwoman] Suja Lowenthal, I know you were involved as well, and the city really made this a team effort, and of course we couldn't do it without the Mayor, Bob Foster.

    This city is incredibly progressive, look around you you see what happened last weekend, the Amgen [cycling] Tour of California...and now you've finally made it to the big time, you've got the AVP Crocs Tour! [applause]

    ...We've gone from seven events to eighteen events in major markets all over the country in the span of just a few years and we're super-proud to be here in Long Beach...

    Misty May-Treanor: ...I guarantee this will be one of the bigger tournaments of the year, if not the biggest, because it's going to pull from different cities, everybody's going to want to come here to Long Beach, and I think they're going to find out what a fantastic city it is and be jealous that they don't live here like we do.

    Mayor Bob Foster: ...This is going to be a world class event, we're looking forward to it. Long Beach has been a city now with big events. We've got the Grand Prix. We've got the Marathon which draws 17,000 people. We had the Olympics in 84, the Olympic Trials in 2004. We actually are in competition now for the 2016 Olympics for about ten or eleven events here in Long Beach, and the AVP will fit right in...As part of Sea Fest, this will be a just a tremendous addition to that...AVP pro beach volleyball tour is a big plus for us. It's going continue to position Long Beach and put us in an excellent destination for sports in southern California. Our mutual friends at NBC are going to love being here. This is a really fantastic city. It is a city that's reinventing itself and it's in a real rebirth and everybody seems to really enjoy being here. It's going to put a huge spotlight on our backyard...Long Beach is looking forward to this.

    [Our digital camera failed on this shot] Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal:...We are very excited here...We in Long Beach have been building our events dossier...Look at our beach. Our beach is beautiful...It's the best backdrop...We are a great city for this. This is about vitality and energy and health in this city. Last week's Amgen [cycling] Tour proved that and when we have the volleyball players here we will continue on that trend...

    General Admission to the Friday-Sunday events will be $20...with $40 charged for Courtside Box Seats and discounts for students, children and seniors. (A Thursday qualifying round will be free of charge.)

    The events will be incorporated into LB's Sea Festival, which the City Council voted in 2003 to put under the direction of a privately-run Sea Festival Association headed by Mr. Pook amid promises to bring larger summertime events to LB.

    AVP Tour Commissioner/CEO Leonard Armato credited Mr. Pook and multiple members of LB city management, plus Mayor Bob Foster and 2nd district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal for their efforts in bringing the AVP pro volleyball tour to LB.

    Among those attending the press event were City Manager Jerry Miller, Deputy City Manager Reggie Harrison, Parks and Rec Chief Phil Hester, Special Events Office Director Dave Ashman, LB Gas & Oil Director Chris Garner, Police Chief Anthony Batts and Assistant City Auditor Alex Cherin.

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