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“2019 FIRST TO THE FINISH WINTERFEST VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT” EXPECTS MORE THAN 18,000 VISITORS IN GREATER HARTFORD OVER TWO WEEKENDS

Close to 5,000 youth volleyball players on 456 teams from across the Northeast are coming to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. this month to compete in the “2019 First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament” (formerly the Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament). A total of more than 18,000 visitors are expected over two weekends, including the young athletes and thousands of family members, friends, tournament officials, college players, fans and spectators.

During the tournament’s first weekend this Saturday, January 12 and Sunday, January 13, organizers will welcome over 2,300 athletes (224 teams of 10 to 12 players), ages 12-18, in six age group divisions for girls and four age divisions for boys.

At the larger of the two competitions on the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Saturday, January 19 through Monday, January 21, over 2,600 athletes (232 teams of female players), ages 16-18, will compete.

“Volleyball is an exciting spectator sport where families get involved and come to cheer on their kids,” explains Tournament Chair Alex Temkin of the New England Region Volleyball Association, Inc. (NERVA). “Since the Northeast has one of the largest concentrations of Collegiate Division II and Division III schools in the nation, with lots of Division I schools here as well, we expect many college recruiting coordinators to come and scout as many athletes as possible.” Players will play on 27 courts in the Exhibition Hall of the Connecticut Convention Center, with 12 matches per court every day each lasting no more than one hour.

“This growing tournament kicks the year off with a great economic boost for the Greater Hartford region,” explains Robert Murdock, the new President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB), the State’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “The popular event is expected to generate $5.8 million in revenue over its two weekends as visitors stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy attractions.” Murdock reports an estimated 1,943 jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and $401,476 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.

“The New England Winterfest tournament originally was designed to showcase young female volleyball players to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast,” adds Temkin. “Since its establishment in 2010 at the Connecticut Convention Center, it has almost tripled in size and now includes boys’ play on the first of the two weekends. The city of Hartford and its surrounding towns really make our Winterfest players and fans feel welcome,” adds Temkin. “Restaurants extend their hours and customize the menus, the Downtown dash shuttle bus adds hours of operation, and everyone is terrific about accommodating our group. We are committed to hold the event here through at least 2023!”

“For the ninth straight year, we welcome Winterfest to the Connecticut Convention Center,” says Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center. “Winterfest brings an incredible energy to the city of Hartford, and we greatly enjoy the experience of hosting the thousands of athletes, coaches, and spectators for two consecutive weekends.”


Weekend #1 Schedule:

  • Saturday, Jan. 12: 7:45 a.m. Opening Serve and National Anthem
  • Saturday, Jan. 12: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tournament Play
  • Sunday, Jan. 13: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tournament Play & Championships

Weekend #2 Martin Luther King. Jr. Weekend Schedule:

  • Friday, Jan. 18: College Showcase at Connecticut Convention Center, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. – 200 athletes will participate in practice drills and scrimmage. More than 80 college coaches are expected on-site to watch and evaluate the players’ skills on an individual basis. As part of that event, at 7:15 p.m. next door at the Marriott Hartford Downtown, parents of volleyball players will attend a Recruiting Seminar where a panel of Division II and III college coaches will tell them what they need to know about college recruitment including calendars, NCAA terms and related topics. Free program is open to all parents of volleyball players – whether or not their child is in the tournament. No reservations needed.
  • Saturday, Jan. 19: 7:45 a.m. Opening Serve and National Anthem
  • Saturday, Jan. 19 AND Sunday, Jan. 20: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tournament Play
  • Monday, Jan. 21: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tournament Championships

SPECTATOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND COSTSSpectators can buy admission wristbands in advance at https://jvctournaments.com/FTTFNewEnglandWinterfest or at the tournament door each day, starting at 7 a.m.

1st Weekend Tournament: Saturday, Jan. 12 & Sunday, Jan. 13:

Discounted Advance Purchase Admission:

$17 All-Tournament wristband purchased on line through Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.;
$12 Single Day wristband purchased on line through Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m..

Standard Admission:

$20 All-Tournament wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.

$15 Single Day wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 11 at 11 p.m.

**Children ages 10 and under admitted for free

**Lost, forgotten or stolen wristbands will need to be re-purchased.

2nd Weekend Tournament: Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21:

Discounted Advance Purchase AdmissionONLY available until 11 p.m. EST Friday, Jan. 18:

$26 All-Tournament wristband purchased on line from Monday, Jan. 14 to Friday, Jan 18 at 11 p.m.;
$12 Single Day wristband purchased on line from Monday, Jan. 14 to Friday, Jan 18 at 11 p.m.;

Standard Admission:

$30 All-Tournament wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 18 at 11 p.m.

$15 Single Day wristband purchased at the door OR on line after Friday, Jan. 18 at 11 p.m.

**Children ages 10 and under admitted for free

**Lost, forgotten or stolen wristbands will need to be re-purchased.

About the New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA): The New England Region is one of many Regions in the United States that aid in the governing of the sport of volleyball. Regional Volleyball Associations (RVAs) are member organizations of USA Volleyball (USAV). The RVAs serve as the grassroots function for the USAV and individually and collectively serve as a catalyst for USAV functions. Each Region is independently operated and is led by a Regional Commission. For more information about the First to the Finish New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament, visit https://jvctournaments.com/FTTFNewEnglandWinterfest



Working in partnership with the state’s businesses, institutions, nonprofit organizations, and their surrounding communities, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) markets all the state – convention and meeting venues, hotels and attractions, and sporting venues – as a premier destination for international, national, regional and statewide conferences, conventions and major sports events. The Connecticut Sports Advisory Board, a division of the CTCSB, focuses its efforts on attracting and serving international, national and regional sporting events. Events booked through the CTCSB in the last fiscal year alone are projected to result in: $54,181,589 in spending by convention, meeting and sports events attendees during their visits to the state, generating 3,653,731 in Connecticut taxes. In addition, 17,246 Connecticut jobs in the hospitality industry will be supported by these events as a result of these bookings.* For more information, contact www.CTmeetings.org or 860-728-6789. (*Destinations International calculator FY 2017-18).

 

The Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford is the state’s premier meeting venue and the largest full-service convention facility between New York and Boston. Overlooking the beautiful Connecticut River, it features 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as ample sheltered parking. The venue is professionally managed for the State of Connecticut by Waterford Venue Services, an affiliate of Waterford Hotel Group. For more information, visit CTConventions.com or call
860-249-6000.