The 2023 Nike New England Winterfest Volleyball Tournament is coming to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford for three weekends in January.
The event will feature 6,500 youth volleyball players on 590 teams from across the Northeast. More than 22,000 visitors are expected over three consecutive weekends.
“Two years ago, we expanded the tournament this year to three weekends and we still are waitlisting teams,” said Roxann Link, junior commissioner of the New England Region Volleyball Association. “It is an exciting spectator event where families come to cheer on their volleyball-playing daughters and sons. Since the Northeast has one of the largest concentrations of collegiate Division II and Division III schools in the nation, with lots of NAIA schools here as well, we expect many college recruiting coordinators to come and scout the athletes.”
Players will compete on 28 courts at the Connecticut Convention Center with 12 matches per court most days, each lasting approximately one hour.
The tournament’s first weekend January 7–8 will feature divisions for girls aged 16 and divisions for boys ages 14–18. The largest of the three weekends on the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, from January 14–16, will feature more than 2,500 female athletes (238 teams), ages 16–18, competing in Open/USA/America/Club competition. On the final weekend, January 21–22, more than 2,500 female athletes, ages 12–18, will compete in 11 age group divisions.
“This annual tournament is a great economic boost for the Greater Hartford region,” said Robert Murdock, president of the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau. “The dynamic event is expected to generate approximately $6.84 million in revenue over its three weekends as visitors stay in over 30 area hotels, dine in local restaurants, shop in the region, and enjoy nearby attractions.”
Murdock adds an estimated 2,240 jobs in the region’s hospitality industry will be supported by this event, and more than $462,000 in Connecticut taxes will be generated.