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July 24, 2003

Southern California to host three major olympic qualifiers at The Home Depot Center over the next th

AVP, The Los Angeles Sports Council and The Home Depot Center Host First of Three Swatch -FIVB World Tour Grand Slam Olympic Qualifiers September 18 - 21 in Carson, California

Beginning with the AVP Nissan Series Grand Slam Olympic Qualifier event at The Home Depot Center Sept. 18-21, Southern California will host a series of three major international beach volleyball tournaments over the next three years.  Each event will be part of the Swatch-FIVB World Tour.  The announcement was made by Leonard Armato, Chairman and Commissioner of the AVP in partnership with The Los Angeles Sports Council and AEG, owners and operators of The Home Depot Center.  Additional events include a Grand Slam event in 2004 and the World Championships in 2005, also at The Home Depot Center.
This event marks the first time a tournament of this nature has been played in the United States since 1997.  The groundbreaking agreement between the FIVB and the AVP will bring the best men's and women's teams from five continents and over 60 countries to Los Angeles to compete among the sports' elite.  The event will offer $300,000 per gender in prize money and more Olympic qualifying points than any other international event, and is the final opportunity to qualify for the World Championships in Brazil in October.

\"AEG and The Los Angeles Sports Council are perfect partners for us,\" stated Armato.  \"Their vision and leadership in the sports world is second to none and the fact that they are committed to helping us grow beach volleyball in this country is a huge plus for us.  The Home Depot Center is a perfect home for a tournament of this caliber.  The facility will set a new standard for excellence and we are very lucky to be a part of it.\"

September's international event, featuring the best men's and women's doubles teams in the world, will be the final opportunity of the \"summer season\" for teams to earn points towards qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Games.  The event will also mark the first time a professional tournament will be held in an outdoor stadium designed with volleyball in mind.  The 8,000-seat tennis stadium will become the tournament's \"center court\" with 4,000 tons of sand used to create to playing surface.

 \"Hosting a tournament of this stature and importance will further establish The Home Depot Center as the center for Olympic training and competition for our national team.  Leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games, The Home Depot Center will host more of our summer team members than any other facility in the United States,\" said Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO of AEG.  \"We congratulate Leonard Armato for the tremendous success that the AVP has enjoyed under his leadership and thank him for bringing this tremendous event to The Home Depot Center.\"

\"This is a great opportunity for volleyball fans to see the premier athletes of pro beach volleyball showcase their talents,\" added Los Angeles Sports Council President David Simon.  \"A tournament of this magnitude with athletes coming from places as far away as Greece and China speaks highly of The Home Depot Center, the AVP and Southern California's support for Olympic sports.\"

All-session passes for the tournament are priced from $20-$75 (for all four days) and are available at The Home Depot Center's box office and through Ticketmaster's Charge-By-Phone network at (213) 480-3232, at all Ticketmaster retail ticket center locations including Wherehouse Records, Robinson's-May, Tower Records, Ritmo Latino and Tu Musica locations and online at www.ticketmaster.com

The Home Depot Center, located on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills is the new home of the MLS Cup Champion Los Angeles Galaxy and the best in amateur, professional and Olympic sports training and competition and outdoor concerts.  The complex, developed by AEG at a cost of $150 million - the largest ever private investment in amateur athletics - has been designated an official U.S. Olympic Training Site by the United States Olympic Committee.  The Home Depot Center includes a 27,000-seat stadium for soccer and concerts, a 13,000-seat tennis stadium, a 20,000-seat track & facility, The ADT Event Center (a 2,500-seat indoor velodrome currently under construction) and other facilities for softball, baseball and action sports among others.  The U.S. Soccer Federation, USA Track & Field, USA Cycling and the USTA have all chosen to base national training programs at The Home Depot Center.  The Home Depot Center has recently been selected to host the championship game of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Marking its 20th Anniversary in 2003, the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour is comprised of over 150 of the best men's and women's pro beach volleyball players in the U.S.  The nation's marquee spectator sport combines world-class athletic competition with an unequaled environment of sun, sand and surf surrounded by an unforgettable beach party.  AVP Pro Beach Volleyball is committed to showcasing the nation's best volleyball players competing for major prize money in one of the most compelling and dynamic sporting events in the world. Visit us on the web at: http://www.avp.com

The L.A. Sports Council is a private, non-profit civic corporation whose purpose is to promote economic development through sports in Greater Los Angeles.  On behalf of the community, the Council bids against other cities for the right to host major sporting events. Its successes include the 1993 Super Bowl, 1994 FIFA World Cup; 1997 Breeders' Cup, 1999 Women's World Cup,
2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships, among many others.


Michael Roth    
Director, Communications   
AEG & The Home Depot Center
(213) 742-7155  
[email protected]

Alison Groendal
Manager, Public Relations 
AEG & The Home Depot Center
(213) 742-7186
[email protected]

Aimee Frank (AVP contact)   
Alan Taylor Communications
(212) 714-1280
[email protected]

Mark Meyers
Los Angeles Sports Council
(714) 734-0433
[email protected]