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City to Host 56th Annual Manhattan Beach Open Tournament

Aug 07, 2015 09:48AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross take on the competition in the 2014 Manhattan Beach Open. Photo: AVP/Robert Beck

Manhattan Beach, the birthplace of beach volleyball, will host the 56th Annual AVP Manhattan Beach Open beach volleyball tournament from Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16. The MBO tournament, the longest running continuous tournament in the sport, will feature top men and women players from around the country.

The tournament will take place in a stadium on the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier. Qualifying rounds will be held on Thursday, the main draw tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday, and semi-finals and finals will be held on Sunday. Total prize money available is $200,000, with $20,000 for the first-place winners.

One of the highlights of the weekend is the MBO Walk of Fame Pier Ceremony, to be held on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. The red carpet ceremony will honor last year’s men’s and women’s champions, April Ross, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Phil Dalhausser, and Sean Rosenthal, with the unveiling of the winners' plaques on the pier.

Saturday will feature a kids' clinic and parents' happy hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday will feature the MBO legends (men's match) from noon to 1:00 p.m. before the tournament finals begin at 1:30 p.m.

Other draws at the event include a full festival village, athlete signings, a movie night on Friday, and interactive games.

More than 40,000 fans are expected to attend over the four-day event.

Tickets are available for VIP courtside boxes and for open seating in the VIP Skybox. The Skybox, new to the tournament this year, is a covered area on the top level of the stadium that will feature food and drink, a cash bar, and premier views of the tournament. VIP Skybox open seating prices begin at $45.

Since 1960, the tournament, which started as an amateur event and is now part of the professional volleyball player's tour, has been a popular summertime activity. It is the only professional volleyball tournament in which amateurs are able to "place into" the event through pre-qualifying rounds.

Many local residents have participated in the tournament, and some have won the tournament, including U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Mike Dodd. Winners of the tournament are memorialized with bronze volleyball-shaped plaques in the "Volleyball Walk of Fame" which spans the length of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Residents should note that Manhattan Beach Boulevard will be closed west of Ocean from August 10 through August 18. During event hours (Thursday at 8:00 a.m. through Sunday at 6:00 p.m.) Manhattan Beach Boulevard will be closed west of Manhattan Avenue and Ocean Drive will be closed from 11th Street to 12th Street. The complete parking, shuttle, bike valet, and Uber information is available here.

Volunteers are needed for the event. If you are interested in volunteering, click here.

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