The side out era

Feb 25

Imagine if the SuperBowl were played on a Tuesday morning at 9 AM this year. This kind of crisis on a much smaller scale is where the livelihood of beach volleyball finds itself.


Over the past several decades beach volleyball has revolved all of its popularity around one single event in the year: the weekend of the Manhattan Beach Charlie Saikley 6 Man Volleyball Tournament.


The combination of professional athletes, celebrities, costumes, and a Spring Break-like atmosphere attracts upwards of 100,000 fans to the Manhattan Beach pier on the last weekend of July each year. This all seems like a match made in heaven for a sport that is most well known for its skimpy uniforms, but instead the true beach volleyball patrons may never get a chance to see this kind of popularity for the sport again.




Beach volleyball is chained to the very nature of the sport: it is played on the beach. The beach is public property by law, and therefore any beach volleyball event is truly run by the city in which it takes place. One cannot charge money for admittance into the tournament, because it is free for anyone to go the beach.


Since there is no ticket fee for the event, the city of Manhattan Beach is liable for the what happens to the beachgoers. With that kind of attendance they could charge $1 a ticket and create great revenue for the city, but these are public beaches and anyone is supposed to be allowed to go to the beach for free. Until beach volleyball can come up with a solution with town governments events like this one will cease to exist.

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