Saturday, January 28, 2006


Beach volleyball coming to Brooklyn; Ratner will market it

The first New York stop on the AVP Beach Volleyball Tour will be in Brooklyn, for the AVP Brooklyn Open, August 17-20, and yes, it will be televised on NBC. The tour is a product of AVP, Inc., which focuses on professional beach volleyball, and the local marketer will be Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the affiliate of Forest City Ratner. It seems to be part of a general strategy for the developer to get involved in sports and sports marketing beyond the Nets; Ratner has also offered support to amateur sports in Brooklyn.

In a photo caption, the Brooklyn Papers declared, "Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project remains controversial, but there’s nothing ire-provoking about his latest initiative — a deal to bring Kerri Walsh (above) and other top pro volleyball stars to Coney Island this summer."

Well, maybe question-provoking. The press release didn't answer some basic questions. Will the 4,000-seat volleyball stadium to be built for this be temporary or permanent? And where exactly will it be located? What's the financial relationship between AVP & Ratner?

Those questions weren't answered in initial coverage last week in the New York Daily News and the New York Post, and the Times didn't cover the issue. I sent emails asking those questions of Forest City Ratner, but didn't get any response. Fortunately, the Brooklyn Papers, in its 1/26/06 article headlined Pro volleyball is coming to Coney Island beach this summer, explained that yes, the stadium will be temporary.

Another twist has been ignored by all but Brian Hatch of For New York's 2012 Olympics bid, beach volleyball was proposed for beachless Williamsburg, apparently because it was closer to the center of the city and because Coney was an "obvious" site. Obvious, yes, because there's a great beach there, as AVP and Forest City Ratner clearly recognize.

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