Lausanne, May 13, 2008 - The clamour for tickets for the FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round matches in Poland has led to organizers changing venues to accommodate more spectators.Following continued demand for tickets, the Polish Volleyball Federation requested to upgrade the venue for the Week 2 matches to Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, a move approved by the FIVB. The Centennial Hall venue hosted FIVB World League matches in 2001 and 2002.
The Polish Volleyball Federation confirmed last week that it had sold out all tickets at HSW Orbita Hall for the Group E matches in Wroclaw through June 27-29 between Poland, USA, Dominican Republic and Thailand.
The popularity of the World Grand Prix, the annual international Volleyball competition involving the world's best Women players, goes from strength to strength. A total of 334,975 spectators attended last year's competition, with attendance in the Final Round in Ningbo improving on 2006.
The 2008 edition involves 12 National Teams playing a total of 69 matches over four consecutive weekends in 10 cities. The Preliminary Rounds begin the weekend of June 20-22 and end the weekend of July 4-6, with each team playing nine matches over the first three weekends.
The 12 teams are Japan, 2003 winners China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Poland, six-time winners Brazil, two-time winners Cuba, Dominican Republic and USA, also two-time winners.
The round-robin Preliminary Rounds are set to take place in Kobe, Japan, Ningbo, China and Alassio, Italy, on the first weekend, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam, Wroclaw, Poland, and Hong Kong the second and Bangkok, Thailand, Taipei, Chinese Taipei, and Macau the third.
The Final Round is scheduled to be contested in Yokohama, Japan, between Japan as organizing country and the best five teams from the Preliminary Rounds in a round-robin format through July 9-13.
In 2007, the Netherlands won their first major trophy in FIVB competitions with a perfect record in the Final Round of the World Grand Prix.