Germany has further enhanced its reputation as a key market for the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) with Hamburg being awarded hosting rights to the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships.
The announcement marks the second FIVB hosting deal sealed by the city in as many months after it was announced in December that Hamburg would host the Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals for the second year in a row from August 14-19.
The World Championships were last held in Vienna, Austria in 2017 and will next year be staged at the Am Rothenbaum Stadium. The 13,000-capacity venue is mostly known for its tennis events, but it has also hosted beach volleyball competitions in the past, including the World Tour Finals.
Germany is also one of the core countries of the FIVB’s Nucleus Project – the new strategy for raising the professional standard of volleyball by focusing development on key individual markets.
FIVB president Ary Graça said: “Germany is a key market for the FIVB and we are delighted that Hamburg is committed to delivering major FIVB beach volleyball events and showcasing the great appeal and popularity of our sport.
“I have no doubt that the city will be an excellent host for the 2019 Beach Volleyball World Championships, and will build up on the success of the 2017 edition staged in Vienna. This event always demonstrates the FIVB’s core principles of skill, athleticism and teamwork, acting as one to achieve the ultimate success.”
The 2019 edition of the Beach Volleyball World Championships will involve 48 women and men’s teams, competing over a total of 208 matches, with overall prize money of $1m (€835,000). The winning pairs in the men’s and women’s events will ensure their country directly qualifies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Local fans will be hoping to see reigning champions Laura Ludwig (pictured) and Kira Walkenhorst retain their crown in the women’s competition, while Brazilian pairing Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola will look to defend their men’s title in Northern Germany.
Hannes Jagerhofer, chief executive of the Beach Majors Company, said: “The Hamburg Major in 2016 as well as the World Tour Finals last year showed us what we are capable of and illustrated what can be achieved: it surpassed all of our expectations. After the World Championships in Vienna, we were able to set new benchmarks for the sport. We have the same goal for Hamburg and we are filled with enthusiasm.
“Hosting the World Championships in Hamburg presents the city with a unique opportunity to show itself off as the flourishing, bustling, contemporary city that it is.”