2010 Corona Light Wide Open to Roll Out in Nine Markets

CHICAGO, March 17 /PRNewswire/

The Corona Light Wide Open, one of the nation's leading grassroots beach volleyball tours, will bring its popular beach volleyball festival to nine US cities in 2010, opening with a May 15-16 stop at South Beach Park in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Created in part by volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, who will be the Chief Volleyball Officer for the 2010 tour, the Corona Light Wide Open will hit some of the nation's most legendary beaches and popular beach volleyball venues. The inaugural tour in 2009 drew more than 3,500 beach volleyball players competing in up to 16 different divisions of play.

Following the opener in Ft. Lauderdale, the tour moves to Galveston, Tex. (May 22-23 on Stewart Beach); Siesta Key, Fla. (June 19-20 at Siesta Key Beach) and Huntington Beach, Calif. (June 26-27  at Huntington Beach Pier). In July, the tour returns to Santa Cruz, Calif. (July 10-11 on Main Street Beach) and on July 31 and August 1, the event will be on North Avenue Beach in Chicago, Ill.

August brings the Corona Light Wide Open to Long Island, N.Y. (Aug. 7-8 at Long Beach) and then makes its first appearance in Colorado, August 14-15 at Carter Park Beach in Breckenridge, Colo. The tour closes on the east coast with an Aug. 21-22 stop at Point Pleasant Beach in Point Pleasant, N.J.

The Corona Light Wide Open is the official qualifying tour for the 2010 US Open of Beach Volleyball, a USA Volleyball-sanctioned national championship, which will be played Sept. 17-19 in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

"The Corona Light Wide Open is one of the few beach volleyball events in the world that captures the true essence and vibe of the beach; it's all about playing the sport and living the lifestyle," said three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Karch Kiraly. "Last year we quickly saw how people wanted a top-shelf, competitive beach volleyball tournament and a package of activities on the beach that allowed them not only to compete for a spot in the US Open, but have some fun and really let loose. This year, we are taking the Wide Open experience to a much higher level."

Volleyball on the 2010 Corona Light Wide Open will be contested in up to 16 different divisions of play and the number of divisions offered will vary from event to event. Winners in up to eight of the two-person divisions will earn an automatic berth into the 2010 US Open of Beach Volleyball. All events will feature draws for two-person teams in men's, women's and co-ed divisions. Among the divisions that may be held at the nine Corona Light Wide Open sites are Men's Open, AA, A, BB, B; Women's Open, AA, A, B; and Co-ed Open, A, B.

At select sites, draws also may include four-person and/or six-person divisions as part of the overall Corona Light Wide Open weekend. However, winners of these divisions will not earn an automatic berth in the US Open draw.

Winners in up to eight two-person divisions at each of the Corona Wide Open events will receive a prize package that includes their US Open entry fee and a stipend to cover travel and lodging expenses to Manhattan Beach for the US Open of Beach Volleyball. The specific divisions receiving the prize package will vary from market to market and details can be found at www.CoronaLightWideOpen.com. Additionally, players in the men's and women's Open Divisions will compete for a total prize purse of $5,000 at each tour stop.

"There are few brands in this country that are perfectly suited for the beach and Corona is definitely one of those brands," said Daniel Kinghorn, Sr. Manager of National Sponsorships at Crown Imports. "The Corona Light Wide Open is an excellent example of our desire to stay true to our commitment to the beach and provide both a competitive and fun experience for our consumers."

A big part of the Corona Light Wide Open experience is the collection of non-volleyball beach activities that will be featured at each of the nine stops. Planned events include an Oakley Fashion Show, a stand-up paddle professional surfing exhibition and demonstration from Surftech and a variety of interactive beach games and activities. Center Court Mania will reign once again at the 2010 Corona Light Wide Open, with events like the Spalding Bubble Wrap Spike Contest (you have to see it to believe it), Oakley's Serving for Shades and the frantic Wet n' Wild Relay Race all planned for this season.

As Chief Volleyball Officer, Kiraly, who is currently an assistant coach with the US Women's National Team and the winningest player in the history of beach volleyball, will oversee the tournament structure and rules development for the nine-city Corona Light Wide Open. Additionally, he will play a significant role in the advertising and promotion of the nationwide tour, as well as conduct clinics and participate in exhibition matches and retail appearances in select markets.

Registration for the 2010 Corona Light Wide Open is now available at www.CoronaLightWideOpen.com. Online entry is available until approximately 24 hours prior to the start of each of the nine events. On-site entries will be accepted based on available openings in a specific division.

The Corona Light Wide Open is produced, promoted and managed by Cleveland-based The Elevation Group.