GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — While March Madness may be top of mind for most following the NCAA’s announcement to cancel all Spring and Winter sports tournaments in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, in Gulf Shores – volleyball comprised the knee-jerk reaction.
The 2020 NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships were supposed to take place the first week of May. The city takes a lot of pride in holding this event in town.
Gulf Shores Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Grant Brown released the following statement about the announcenemt:
We recognize the decision to cancel the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships was made for the protection of the student athletes, coaches, staff and fans and to help ensure their event doesn’t contribute to the spread of the pandemic. We certainly respect their decision and continue to support the NCAA as long-term partners in future Championships in Gulf Shores.Grant Brown, City of Gulf Shores
City officials will release more information about this Friday.
That weekend doesn’t just host college athletes. The NCAA tournament is a huge draw for youth beach volleyball players across the country, as USA Volleyball hosts hundreds of teams in a Juniors tournament on the other side of the beach. Those athletes would get free admission to the college games as part of their own tournament entry fees.
We have reached out to USA Volleyball to see if they still plan on holding the tournament, we have not heard back.
The AHSAA also runs the State Track Championships in Gulf Shores that weekend, bringing in more than 4,000 athletes across the state.
City officials are working on a course of action to address the busy weekend, which is a major boost for the local economy.
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