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Volleyball Nationals nearing Superbowl Numbers, by Far Surpasses the World Series

Girls Junior Club Volleyball Nationals is working to be as big as the Superbowl. A recent Minnesota StarTribune article states, “Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee estimated the Twin Cities area could reap $338 million in economic activity from the February 2018 game”. In 2017, Volleyball Nationals generated an estimated economic activity impact of $210 million.

Here are the numbers posted by the Minnesota StarTribune are:

40,000 players, coaches and related visitors participated in the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center that concluded its 10-day run

Meet Minneapolis estimates that visitors spend $300-plus a day, including food and lodging.

Assuming a four-day stay per attendee, that gets you to $50 million.

Volleyball does not have 1 national tournament, but 2 national tournaments! USA Volleyball hosted their National Championships in Minneapolis (the above article/numbers), AAU hosts their National Championships in Orlando and it’s even bigger…over three times bigger.

A 2015 USA Today article: World’s largest volleyball event, shows 133,000 players, coaches, and related visitors. Using the above StarTribune numbers of $300 per day at 4 days per attendee, AAU’s economic activity impact is $160 million.

Combine, USA Volleyball Nationals ($50 million) plus AAU Nationals ($160 million) brings the number to $210 million.

Four games of a World Series could bring $45 million to a host city (Chicago Tribune article: World Series is not an economic home run for host cities). This does not even match USA Volleyball Nationals in Minnepolis, never mind the staggering numbers of AAU Nationals.

The NBA? Not a chance. Each home playoff game for Cleveland brings in only $3.4 million dollars. March Madness…now you are getting closer at $100 – 150 million. Still not volleyball numbers.

Scary to think, this is only the national championships for girls junior volleyball. The Big South Volleyball Tournament, for example, will bring in 15,000 athletes (not including coaches and spectators) over a 3 day weekend in Atlanta. There are dozens of these large scale tournament and hundreds of smaller tournaments across the country that run from January through July.

Volleyball is growing…and growing fast! ESPN (Why volleyball — not basketball — is winning the popular vote) and the National Federation of State High School Associations shows volleyball now has the most participants outside of track & field. ESPN also promoted the 2016 NCAA Division I semi-final matches from ESPN2 to the ESPN.

It’s an exciting time for volleyball and I look forward to USA Volleyball’s new CEO, Jamie Davis, who’s background is not volleyball, but sports media, e-commerce and technology to see how he will leverage this tremendous growth and revenue generating sport that is volleyball. For example, Adidas is riding the wave and is now a partner with USA Volleyball. Enjoyed their presence at Nationals this year!

It’s great to see how our sport continues to grow. There isn’t even an indoor professional league yet here in the United States and the numbers are already this HUGE! Look forward to seeing who else will jump on board! Girl Power!


  1. That doesn’t even count national qualifiers that occur throughout the country before the actual finals events. Add that impact plus minor impact of regional tournaments, local tournaments. It’s significant.

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