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AVP alerts players about beach volleyball tour's financial troubles

July 24, 2010 |  4:32 pm

Beachvb_335 The Assn. of Volleyball Professionals held a conference call with its players Wednesday to discuss its financial troubles. Among the issues raised was the possibility that the tour, which began the second half of its 2010 season Saturday at Long Beach, would see its season cut short. 

The AVP has had the same ownership group since 2008, and it is working on an investment deal that will fund the remainder of the season, though Jason Hodell, the tour's chief executive officer, declined to say whether negotiations were with the same investors or with new ones. The AVP has been struggling to close sponsorship deals, Hodell said, so investors are the main source of funds.

"It is a true statement to say that we are raising money, so we are a in a period of a little uncertainty here, but we're super optimistic," Hodell said.

Wednesday's conference call, Commissioner Mike Dodd said, was meant to keep the players informed.

"We're always upfront with them, and they're always upfront with us," he said.

Todd Rogers, who is part of the No. 1-ranked AVP and FIVB men's team with Phil Dalhausser, said the call was not a surprise.

"If you'd been listening, you knew that they were struggling a little bit," Rogers said.

Upcoming scheduled tournaments for the AVP include stops at Manhattan Beach on Aug. 19-22 and at Chicago on Aug 27-29, both of which are big events on the national tour. The worst-case scenario for the AVP would be cancellation of the tour, which would force top-tier players into international competition and leave lower-ranked teams without a place to play.

"I sure hope not," Hodell said of the possible interruption. "Until it's closed it's not closed, until the deal's done, but we're optimistic."

-- Laura Myers

Photo: April Ross goes for a spike against the defense of Elaine Youngs in the women's final of the Hermosa Beach Open last weekend. Ross and teammate Jennifer Kessy won the title. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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