World's Largest Volleyball Event To Remain In Central Florida Through 2020
"We are excited to welcome back the AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships to Orlando,” said Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel. “Players and spectators alike will be able to experience our award-winning convention center, as well as a wide variety of hotels, attractions and restaurants that make us the ideal host city for sporting events.”
The AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships has held the title of largest volleyball event in the world since 2012 when the 16U Club division set the current Guinness Book of World Records mark.
Approximately 23,000 athletes and 9,000 coaches travel to Central Florida to compete in front of nearly 50,000 spectators and over 400 college coaches from across the United States. The event – which takes place onmore than 175 courts between Orange County Convention Center (157 courts) and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – will feature 31 divisions of competition, including an international division that has attracted teams from Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Peru in recent years.
The second largest sport in the AAU, volleyball had more than 120,000 members in 2015 with more than 300 licensed AAU indoor and beach volleyball events across the nation. Other events in Orlando include the AAU Volleyball Classic, which has been held during the spring at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for more than 15 years, and the AAU Boys’ Junior National Volleyball Championships, which is hosted at Orlando Sports Center each summer.
"The AAU strives to provide the very best experience for athletes, coaches and spectators,” said Dr. Roger Goudy, AAU President/CEO. “We are very pleased with the relationships we have developed in the area through our friends at Visit Orlando. Our teams and families go home every year with a smile on their face because of the people in this community.”
The event has more than doubled in the last five years, increasing from just over 1,000 teams in 2011 to more than 2,200 teams at last year’s event. Still growing, the economic impact to Orlando is expected to bemore than $52 million per year with participants and their families visiting local hotels, shops, restaurants and other Orlando area businesses.
“The Orange County Convention Center is delighted to welcome back the AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships,” said Kathie Canning, OCCC Executive Director. “The growth of this event and enthusiasm it brings to our city is very valuable. We look forward to many more years of partnership.”