Lausanne, Switzerland -- Norway promoter World Event regrets to announce on Friday that the Stavanger Grand Slam will not take place in 2012 citing the financial crisis.
The Stavanger Grand Slam, which was due to take place from June 25 to July 1, has been part of the FIVB World Tour since 1999 in the iconic venue of the Vaagen Harbour dockside courts, starting as an Open event before becoming a Grand Slam in 2004, highlighted by the 2009 FIVB World Championships.
"It has been a great pleasure working with the organization in Stavanger, and see how this fantastic tournament turned into one of the biggest sports event in Norway," World Event managing director and chairman Odd Langhelle and board director Bjorn Maaseide said. "The World Tour in Stavanger has been a first class and complex beach volleyball event with a budget of approximately three million Euros. The financial risk for this year's tournament was simply too high."
The Grand Slam tournament in Stavanger reached its peak during the World Championships in 2009 where 156 million television viewers watched the event across the country. The FIVB gave the World Championships in Stavanger the title "best World Championships ever." A total of 101,000 tickets were sold during the 10-day competition.
Maaseide is a former star on the FIVB World Tour and a key promoter who in both roles has tremendously contributed to beach volleyball both in Norway and around the world.
The 2012 FIVB World Tour will now feature a total of 13 events in 14 countries over a seven-month period, including a record-breaking eight Grand Slam tournaments, increasing from six in 2011.
There will also be eight Open events, six of which will be single-gender competitions. Discussions with the promoter of the men's Morocco Open is still ongoing, leaving the tournament still to be confirmed.
With total prize money of $6.7 million on offer, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 2012 will include Grand Slams offering $600,000 prize money in Beijing, Moscow, Rome, Gstaad, Klagenfurt, Stare Jablonki as well as Shanghai, which has been upgraded from an Open event, and Berlin, which returns to the calendar for the first time since 2008.
The 16 places per gender that will qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games directly from the World Tour will be decided following the Rome Grand Slam from June 12 to 17. The national federations with the 12 best results from the World Championships, World Tour and recognized Continental Tours from January 1, 2011 up until June 17 will automatically earn a berth at the Olympic Games. They will be joined by hosts Great Britain, the five Beach Volleyball Continental Cup champions and the top two place getters at the World Cup Olympic Qualification in Tortoli, Italy to make up the 24 vacancies.
Content courtesy of FIVB