World class athletes begin season ahead of Olympics - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

World class athletes begin season ahead of Olympics

KENNER, LA (WVUE) -

New Orleans is used to nationally televised sporting events, but this time the network cameras will be in Laketown allowing volleyball to spike Kenner's image. The rain slowed down, but won't stop the action in the Association of Volleyball Professionals first venue of 2016. Jeff Rossi, senior vice president of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation said, “Laketown here is just beautiful, it's on the water, you sort of have a blank canvas and the AVP really likes that.”

The tour of elite beach volleyball players hit the Kenner Lakefront for a second year. Rossi said, “They really come up with a vision and let it come to life out here.”  The foundation helped bring the event to the area and he sees the partnership as a great success. Rossi said, “I know the local businesses here in Kenner are very happy. I know there are hundreds and hundreds of hotel rooms booked.” 

Acting Kenner Mayor Mike Sigur agrees.  He said, ‘This is just a wonderful event for the area.” Sigur says he hopes to see it return. He said, “I get nothing but comments, good comments from residents and businesses excited to see it because it does bring in an influx of people to the hotels and to the restaurants and then the locals like coming out to see it too.”

Eugene Lewis is happy his food truck is part of the festive weekend. He said, “I was excited to be invited out.” Lewis said these sorts of events give him great exposure. He said, “It helps us generate business and it helps us to get our name out.”

Rossi says the athletes also like the environment away from downtown. He said, “In some sense it's a little bit easier on them to not be in the middle of everything. They are here on a business trip to work and play so they need to concentrate.” 

Sigur said, “We are excited. We want to keep it coming back here. We are just doing everything we can to make sure it works out.” A preview of the kind of economic activity many would like to see in Laketown all year long. .  The tournament runs through the weekend with free general admission.

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