Hartford’s reputation as the place to be for aspiring collegiate volleyball players will continue to grow in 2017, as the New England Region Volleyball Association (NERVA) will be expanding its Mizuno New England Winterfest Tournament at the Connecticut Convention Center (CTCC) in January. NERVA will be adding an additional weekend - Friday, January 6, 2017 through Sunday, January 8, 2017 - to the tournament, which is expected to add 7,000 attendees to the 17,000 visitors Winterfest currently brings to the city of Hartford.
Winterfest, the largest volleyball tournament in New England, is designed to showcase female volleyball players – ages 12 to 18 – to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast. Each year, NERVA holds its annual Mizuno New England Winterfest at the CTCC in January, over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. College representatives from New England and beyond traditionally attend, as well as family, friends, fans and teams from across New England.
In addition to the event’s expansion over an additional weekend, NERVA has committed to holding Winterfest at the Center through at least 2019. The added weekend is expected to bring an additional 900 overnight rooms to the region for a total of 5,400 rooms in 2017 and an additional 1,800 rooms starting in 2018 totaling 6,800 rooms, according to tournament officials. The original weekend brings over 4,500 rooms to the Hartford region.
“We have watched NERVA grow at the Center since 2010 and we are excited to team up with them to offer an additional weekend to Winterfest,” says Michael Costelli, General Manager of the Connecticut Convention Center. “The event brings thousands of visitors and an incredible energy to the Center and the city of Hartford. We look forward hosting the athletes, coaches and spectators for the foreseeable future.”
“The New England Region is looking forward to the expansion of two weekends for our Winterfest tournament,” says Roxann Link, New England Region Junior Commissioner. “All of our clubs, players and coaches have enjoyed playing at the Connecticut Convention Center and are excited that we will be able to add more teams.”
NERVA is one of 40 regions of USA Volleyball, the National Governing Body of volleyball. NERVA represents the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Taking place in the Convention Center’s exhibit halls, the Winterfest always fills up quickly and is maxed out with 200 teams playing on 25 courts, officials point out. The addition of a second weekend is designed to allow an additional 90 teams to participate in the tournament in 2017 and an additional 200 teams starting in 2018.
A year ago, NERVA added an additional tournament at the CT Convention Center over Memorial Day weekend.