Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pro Footvolley Tour to bring international flavor - and exposure - to Wildwood

From Rio, to Wildwood... from Wildwood, to the world!

The fast-growing international sport of footvolley will make its debut on the Wildwood Beach this summer, July 21-23, with national teams from at least five different countries participating in the Pro Footvolley Tour.

The event will be hosted by Boardwalk Entertainment in conjunction with the U.S. National Footvolley Team, featuring a game that was a "demonstration sport" at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

According to Boardwalk Entertainment owner Amanda Thomas, three days of festival-like action will be streamed worldwide - presenting both the athletes and Wildwood on an unprecedented scale.

"We see this as an ideal marriage of event and location," she explained to Wildwood 365 in an interview this week. "Footvolley is a unique sport that is gaining an international following. Along with it, we are looking forward to showcasing Wildwood and all it has to offer in a big way.

"Millions of people around the world will be able to watch the event live from the beach."

Boardwalk Entertainment will team with multiple broadcast networks, and local production companies to execute the event. Matches and scenes around the island will be shot in 4k resolution, the highest definition available.

In addition to pay-per-view live streaming, plans call for the matches to be made available on online on demand download, eventual Blu-ray disc distribution, and broadcast on national and European networks in the Fall.

"One of the goals is to bring the different communities together in Wildwood," Thomas said. "We hope to bring the Brazilian communities of North Jersey to Wildwood, to bring the local Hispanic communities out to the event, and to bring the local and vacation families together which will be a melting pot of culture for the weekend."

Added Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano:

“The city of Wildwood is thrilled to be hosting this leg of this tour. From a player’s as well as spectator’s perspective, our beach is the perfect venue to enjoy the matches. With the matches being broadcast internationally, the rest of the world will find out what visitors to our city already know – Wildwood is a world-class vacation and entertainment destination.”

What is Footvolley?

Footvolley, which originated on Rio's Copacabana Beach during the 1960's, combines aspects of beach volleyball and soccer ("football" in most countries outside of the United States).

The game allows only soccer touches (no hands) and uses a soccer ball. Otherwise, it uses the same rules as volleyball and is played on a sand court, slightly larger than the standard beach volleyball set-up.

The sport has seen much international growth in recent years. After being presented as a demo in Rio, national organization officials are aiming to have it officially added to the Summer Olympic Games.

The Venue - Garfield Avenue Beach

The Pro Footvolley Tour matches will utilize the existing stationary bleachers on the beach at Garfield Avenue, and additional seating facing the boardwalk, which will be considered premium seating. The additional bleachers will fit up to 400 people, and this set of seating is guaranteed to be shown on the broadcast and recording of the event.

"The sheer size of the Wildwood Beach is so impressive," Thomas noted. "Honestly, it's the best beach venue in the United States and maybe the world, but I might be a little biased. You can't host an event on any other beach and be that far away from the waterline with no worries about high tide crashing into the event."

The event will offer both ticketed and free general admission. 1,000 free tickets are available to claim on the website immediately. Premium seats are featured in the additional set of bleachers that faces the boardwalk. In addition to these ticket holders being guaranteed to be in the television broadcast, they will also receive a color program and one of three commemorative items (rally towel, tee shirt, sports ball).

Premium tickets are limited to 400 per day and cost $15. Tickets are available online now -

Brazil at the Beach

In the international spirit of the event and the "melting pot" atmosphere it aspires to cultivate, "Brazil at the Beach" will be presented on Saturday night, July 22, from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.

A celebration of Brazilian culture, it will feature samba and capoeira dancers, drummers, an LED DJ, food, a beer garden, kids activities and more. More details about this event will be released soon.

This event will be completely FREE to the public.

Looking Ahead...

With under five months to go until the Pro Footvolley Tour, Boardwalk Entertainment is looking to reach out to and work with local businesses and organizations.

"We see this as a major event for the Wildwoods, a fusion of two cultures, a win-win for everyone involved," said Thomas. "We want to market Wildwood in a big way, and will be utilizing the highest-quality resources at our disposal.

"I'm particularly excited about the presentation of the town. The broadcasts will open with a spectacular shot of the Wildwoods Sign and cutaways will feature various areas and landmarks. We want to work with the business community to make this even bigger and more beneficial to all involved."

Boardwalk Entertainment has announced several other big events for Summer 2017, including two food truck festivals, the Sandy Paws Dog Festival & Dog Adoption Day, and the return of Movies on the Beach.

"And there's even more to come," Thomas said. "It's going to be a very busy and fun summer!"

“We are happy to be back in Wildwood this season, and thankful for the team the City of Wildwood provides. The public safety, public works, beach services, and administrative teams provide a world class operation. There is no other town that is so educated and experienced with events, and there is also no team that is so dedicated to the success of all the events Wildwood hosts.”

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