Toronto set to host Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals at Polson Pier
Toronto will host the most prestigious beach volleyball competition of the year – outside of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The world’s top beach volleyball players – which will likely include the champions of the upcoming Rio Olympics – will compete in the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals Sept. 14 to 17 at Polson Pier on the east waterfront in the port lands district.
They’ll be competing for $500,000 (U.S.) in prize money, part of a total prize pool of $8.25 million for the long season.
The prestigious season-ending tournament is the first world tour stop in Canada since the Quebec Open was held in 2011.
Last year’s Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals were held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Toronto event is more exclusive than Rio with only 12 pairs invited each for both the men’s and women’s draws, consisting of the top 10 in the world (limit two per country), plus two wildcards.
Organizers say admission will be free, on a first-come, first-served basis. The grandstands will seat 4,000.
“We are delighted and proud to come to such a marvelous city like Toronto,” said Hannes Jagerhofer, who together with Red Bull sponsors a portion of the world tour labelled the ‘Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Series’.
“Polson Pier offers one of the best sites of the FIVB World Tour, and will definitely set new standards that will make the Swatch Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals a spectacular and truly memorable event.”
Toronto has qualified two women’s and men’s teams to Rio, as follows (current world rankings in brackets):
• men, Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk (11th); Dr. Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter (22nd)
• Women: Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley (15th); Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas (36th).