The 2013 Mizuno New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament is expected to draw more than 5,000 female high school players, coaches and fans this weekend to the Connecticut Convention Center in downtown Hartford.
Tournament organizers and the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau say the visitors during the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend are coming from all over New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and as far away as California and Bermuda.
With attendees staying in 27 Hartford area hotels from Friday through Monday, the tournament is estimated to generate $3.9 million in revenue for the region, local convention and visitors authorities say.
Nicole Millage, a silver-medal member of the U.S. Women's Volleyball Team – Paralympic Games, will handle the ceremonial opening serve, officials said.
The volleyball association hosts its annual showcase of players, ages 14 to 18, to college coaches and recruiters from throughout the Northeast, said tournament chair Alex Temkin, the new volleyball coach at the University of Hartford.
Mizuno markets volleyballs, baseball gloves, among other athletics gear.