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Sleek Palaflorio ready to open its doors to the world’s volleyball elite

A sold-out Palaflorio in Bari during a match featuring Italy against Poland in the Intercontinental Round of this year's FIVB Volleyball World League
 Bari, Italy, September 9, 2014 – The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 will be stopping in two weeks in Bari with the national teams of Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Cuba, Japan and Puerto Rico all set to delight the local crowd in the first round of the much anticipated tournament taking place at Palaflorio. 

The venue of the World Championship has been upgraded and equipped with wireless Internet connections which make it one of the most modern facilities of its kind across the Italian peninsula. About €50,000 were spent to upgrade the Internet connection, improving on the upload and download capacity and providing the media with a first-class service. An air conditioning system was added in 2010 in conjunction with a qualification tournament held in Bari for the FIBA Europe Basketball European Championship and the provision of high-speed Internet makes Palaflorio a leading player as the largest sporting arena in the region of Apulia with a capacity of 5,000 seats.  

The Palaflorio is just about to be turned into a little “jewel” as the arena will now be decorated with banners and other adverts promoting the Women’s World Championship. The action will start on September 23 at 10:30 am local time with the match between China and Puerto Rico. Elite volleyball is returning to Bari after the same venue hosted a sold-out match of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League where the home heroes of Italy played – and beat – Poland. 

The venue in Bari is named after the late Pietro Florio, who was at the helm of the Italian Volleyball Federation from 1977 through 1988. It was inaugurated back in 1991 with a friendly match between Italy and Poland. It has for many years been the home to the local volleyball and basketball teams and played host to volleyball, basketball and gymnastics events of the 1997 Mediterranean Games. The Palaflorio was provisionally closed in 2003 and another four years were needed in order to solve a few technical and financial issues. 

Following the investment of about €5 million, the arena was re-opened on July 30, 2010, with a match featuring Italy’s basketball team before playing host to a qualification tournament of the European Championships. Since then it has hosted many national and international events in futsal, karate, judo, gymnastics, as well as concerts and other cultural festivals. 

The facility also includes a museum, which is something unique in Italy since it reviews the history and development of ball games. The museum provides its visitors with information and videos to know more about these sports – including volleyball – after resources were pulled together by the National Olympic Committee and the respective national federations.


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