Lincoln will host the State Volleyball Tournament for the next three years, starting in 2014.
The NSAA Board of Directors announced today that Lincoln's bid beat out Grand Island's, but that both were "phenomenal".
The Board said when determining the best venues, Lincoln was the unanimous winner with the addition of the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Lincoln and Grand Island submitted their bids in May. Lincoln offered the Pinnacle Bank Arena, Bob Devaney Sports Center, and all city high schools, in addition to reimbursing the NSAA for all costs.
Grand Island made a similar offer for free venues, in addition to giving $20,000 to the NSAA.
But in the end, it came down to the venue for the Board to make its decision.
The Board had nothing but good things to say about how Grand Island has run the tournament for the past few years. One member even said that Grand Island has made the State Volleyball Tournament better, despite choosing Lincoln.
The Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Grand Island Sports Council released this statement:
While we have not received an official notification from the NSAA, through multiple media outlets, we understand that Lincoln has been selected at the host site for the 2014-2016 State Volleyball tournaments.
Grand Island has invested heavily to host the tournament and has proudly developed a championship atmosphere; we are disappointed that the tournament is moving. In the three years so far in Grand Island, new standards have been set. Nine out of ten coaches, players and administrators praised the facilities and treatment in Grand Island. The business and volunteer community have supported this event at a high level, providing long term positive impacts in our area.
Grand Island’s bid maintained single court matches at each facility allowing the players to enjoy the sole spotlight as opposed to a shared stage. Combined with a financial incentive package that was $20,000 higher per year, we were hopeful that this proposal was both fiscally and physically responsible. The Grand Island Sports Council will continue to work hard to attract and retain high level sporting events in our city.
Plans are underway for the 2013 championships and are looking forward to welcoming the players and teams to Grand Island. We wish Lincoln much success as host beginning in 2014 and wish to thank the hundreds of volunteers and supporters throughout Central Nebraska that have helped develop and display a championship atmosphere and attitude throughout our designated time as host.
Mayor's statement on the return of State Volleyball Tournament.
Today, the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) announced that the State High School Volleyball Tournament will return to Lincoln for three years starting in 2014. I want to begin by thanking the NSAA Board of Directors for their support of our community. This is exciting news for our City. I’m pleased that Jeff Maul from the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau can be here. In May, Jeff, along with Tom Lorenz from SMG and representatives from the Lincoln Public Schools presented Lincoln’s bid to host the tournament. Thank you, Jeff, and congratulations on your successful proposal.
“Lincoln hosted the tournament for nearly 30 years before it moved to Grand Island. That City has been an outstanding host for the event for three years, and we wish them much success again with the 2013 tournament.
“At the same time, we feel strongly that it’s time for the State volleyball tournament to come ‘home’ to the State’s Capital City. Lincoln has long had a tradition as a championship City, and we are ready to reclaim that title in a big way.
“In April of 2009 when the NSAA first announced that the tournament would move to Grand Island, I issued a statement. I said the decision should ‘strengthen this community’s resolve to make the West Haymarket project a reality.’ At that time, I said that ‘every year we wait, we cost the community millions of dollars in revenue – revenue that we can use to keep our community strong and position us for future success.’
“A year later, the voters of Lincoln approved the construction of a new arena for this community. And I want to again thank the voters for their confidence and their vision. Today’s announcement is a victory for all those who believed in the project.
“A week from tomorrow, we cut the ribbon on the new Pinnacle Bank Arena, the new home of the Husker basketball program. The new arena led to the renovation of the Devaney Center. Those facilities were the key to bringing this great State event back to Lincoln. When State volleyball players, coaches and fans come back to Lincoln in November 2014, we can promise them not just new and updated facilities, but new hotels, new restaurants and new entertainment options to enjoy.
“Again, congratulations to Jeff and his team, thank you to the NSAA Board of Directors and thank you to the community for supporting Lincoln’s growth.”