I wasn’t expecting to be writing about this at all, but the hoped-for news of new sponsorship did not come. Instead we have this word from AVP management: “On behalf of AVP staff we want to express our sincere gratitude to fans, players, partners and sponsors,” said Jason Hodell, AVP CEO. “Words cannot express our profound disappointment.”
Hans Stolfus, former professional player and go-to source for all things AVP this past year, has a heartfelt and emotional column up on AVP.com called End of Days. For a succinct overview of how some of the best athletes in the world can no longer play on American soil, I highly recommend that you check it out.
Hans is not feeling very good about the situation, and rightly so. Dozens of players will lose their sponsorships and livelihoods, and we’ll lose the regular display of amazing volleyball that we so love. With the 2012 Olympic qualification process approaching USA Volleyball and the FIVB will have to organize some “professional” tournaments, but it just won’t be the same.
This isn’t the first time the AVP has gone away, and we can only hope that some far-sighted and magnanimous investors will revive it again. The format and configuration of any future professional beach volleyball league will hopefully be stronger with these hard lessons at their back.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.