After months as COVID hospital, Colorado Convention Center to welcome back thousands for tournament

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — After being closed for a year due to COVID-19, the Colorado Convention Center is once again welcoming in large crowds this weekend.

Thousands of volleyball players and their families are coming to Denver from across the country to play in a massive youth volleyball tournament that kicks off Friday morning and will bring more than 20,000 visitors.

This volleyball tournament is expected to be huge for hotels and restaurants and could bring in an estimated $13 million in just two weeks.

It’s the comeback Colorado Crossroads was hoping for. Its second weekend of games in 2020 were suddenly canceled as pandemic restrictions quickly went into effect and shut down the building, which would be converted for months into a never-used COVID hospital site.

“When we walked out of here, we were the last people in the building. I felt like we are going out, we are closing the door and turning off the lights, not knowing when we would be back,” said Kay Rogness, executive director of the Front Range Volleyball Club Foundation. “Now this year, we are the first big event back into the Convention Center. Last out, first in. Turn off the lights, turn them on.”

About 440 teams will play in the tournament, representing 32 states. Down from years prior, there will be 12 players on each team. Each player will only be allowed one guest that isn’t family.

“I think that everyone is going to come in with a lot of tenacity and wanting to play and go for things,” said Utah sophomore Rachel Anderson. “I think that it’s going to be really competitive, and I’m excited.”

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