MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The beach is the Grand Strand's biggest attraction, but thousands are pouring in this weekend for an event that's indoors. Coastal Classic, a weekend long volleyball tournament, kicks off Saturday morning at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Grand Strand Juniors Volleyball Club is serving Myrtle Beach with the Coastal Classic for the third year.
The goal for players is to win a free trip to AAU championships in Orlando, Florida, but the event is also a win for Myrtle Beach because each year, it sees more and more growth. This year 115 teams have signed up, that's almost fifty more than last year.
Teams are coming from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and even Canada. Event organizers expect to see more than 3,000 people pour into local hotels for the event. Dayton House, a host hotel, is already sold out.
"That's the great thing about club volleyball is that teams do travel with their families. You're gonna see little brothers, little sisters, moms and dads, aunts and uncles, they're all gonna be here. They estimate that for every player, there's at least two or three other adults that come with them," says tournament director Alex Sing.
If you want to come watch the games, you can buy tickets at the convention center starting at 7 p.m., Friday. Tickets will be sold all weekend, kids under six get in for free.
Coastal Classic will serve the Grand Strand with games all weekend long, but Monday, you can watch more than 50 teams at the beach for a sand volleyball game.
The sand tourney is brand new this year. Event organizers say it has drawn a lot of attention, so they already have it on the books for years to come.
Imagine if we added 9 beach volleyball courts in our area? We told you a few months back, that's being discussed by the city and the Chamber of Commerce. Those courts could potentially be built between the Springmaid Beach area and Damon's in a spot known as "Pebble beach"
The Grand Strand Junior volleyball club says the number of visitors this weekend will be an example of the impact more courts could have on tourism.
"We're looking to bring more beach volleyball events, its now a collegiate sport so more and more schools are offering scholarships for that and that sport is exploding as well," says Sing.
There is still some question of whether we'll see sand volleyball courts in myrtle beach. City spokesperson Mark Kruea says It could be added to the Capital Improvement Project list. There will be a second reading of the budget on Tuesday.
For more details on Coastal Classic: http://coastalclassicvolleyball.com .