HARTFORD, CONN— Over 5700 youth volleyball players on 521 teams from across the northeast will arrive shortly at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford later this month to compete in the 2022 Smack New England Volleyball Tournament.
Officials say the event will feature over 1000 athletes each weekend out of the 521 teams in total competing for a prize in each age and division.
“This year, we expanded the tournament to three weekends,” explains Roxann Link, Junior Commissioner of the New England Region Volleyball Association, Inc. (NERVA). “It is an exciting spectator event where families come to cheer on their volleyball-playing daughters and sons. Since the Northeast has one of the largest concentrations of Collegiate Division II and Division III schools in the nation with lots of NAIA schools here as well, we expect many college recruiting coordinators to come and scout the athletes.”
“This annual tournament kicks the year off with a great economic boost for the Greater Hartford region,” explains Robert Murdock, President of the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTmeetings), the state’s official meetings and sports event sales and marketing organization. “The popular event is expected to generate approximately $6.61 Million in revenue over its three weekends as visitors stay in over 25 area hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop, and enjoy nearby attractions.” Murdock reports an estimated 2,197 jobs in the region’s hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and $445,030 in Connecticut Sales Tax will be generated.
“The New England Winterfest tournament was the original Convention Center volleyball event in the Northeast,” adds Dave Peixoto, NERVA Commissioner. “Since its establishment in 2010 at the Connecticut Convention Center, it has almost tripled in size now operating on three weekends. The City of Hartford and its surrounding towns really make our Winterfest players and fans feel welcome. 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.”
“For the eleventh year, the Connecticut Convention Center welcomes the New England Regional Volleyball Association for its Winterfest tournament in Downtown Hartford,” says Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center. “We look forward to the incredible energy the thousands of NERVA athletes, coaches, and spectators bring to Hartford. We are proud to have been the host venue for Winterfest for the past decade and are excited for the years to come.”