2014 AVP St. Pete Open kicks off in the ‘burg today

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Excitement builds as St. Petersburg primes for a weekend of championship volleyball on the sands of Spa Beach Park with the Association of Volleyball 2014 St. Pete Open.

The event — from May 30 through June 1 — features some of the top volleyball players in the U.S., including Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, Jen Kessy and Phil Dalhausser. Over the next three days, athletes will be in heated competition for up to $150,000 in prize money.

Play gets underway tomorrow, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Spa Beach Park, 615 2nd Ave. NE, resuming Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, fans can observe semi-final matches at 8:30 a.m., with final rounds at 1 p.m.

Gates open one-half hour before each day’s first match.

Spectators are encouraged to park on nearby surface lots or in downtown garages, including the Dolphin and Pelican lots on The Pier Approach or in the Sundial (formerly BayWalk) parking garage, a short distance from Spa Beach Park. Parking is $5.

For spectators needing assistance, disabled parking is available in the Dolphin lot.

General admission grandstand and limited VIP tickets for ages 10 and up are still available at avp.webconnex.com/stpetersburg. Three-day passes are also available. Fans may purchase tickets at the gate during the tournament at a slightly higher price.

In addition to watching world-class volleyball, fans can visit the Festival Village for player autographs, family activities, vendors and a beer garden.

For more information, visit www.avp.com.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.