Taking beach volleyball to new heights at the Swatch World Tour Finals
The much-anticipated third edition of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals will be heading to the home of reigning women’s Olympic champions this summer. Hamburg will host the end-of-season spectacular between August 22-27 as beach volleyball returns to the Northern German city of 2016 Copacabana heroes Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.
Last season’s Hamburg Major, which was also won by Ludwig/Walkenhorst, saw thousands of fans flock to the iconic Rothenbaum Stadium in the heart of this bustling city to witness a spectacular week of high-class beach volleyball. However, the 2017 Hamburg Major gets the World Tour Finals upgrade and promises to be even bigger and better as 12 top teams per gender meet to compete for a prize money of $800,000 and the right to be named Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals champions.
The inaugural edition of the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in 2015 set the standard high for future events. With the Fort Lauderdale stadium packed to maximum capacity for the semifinals and finals matches, fans were treated to a premier sporting experience as the world's best beach volleyball teams took to the courts to play for the largest prize money in international beach volleyball history. Even the soaring temperatures could not keep people away from the party atmosphere which included music, food, drinks, dancing and an interactive vendor village experience.
The fan experience was also taken to a new level with 19 cameras on site, including high-speed cameras providing ultra-slow motion replays, and new graphics providing information on temperature, humidity, wind speed and wind direction. Dedicated graphics gave fans more detail on the jump height of athletes going in for a spike or a block. Twelve high-resolution Hawkeye cameras were also in place for the Challenge System, which was used for the first time at an FIVB Major Series event.
The second edition in Toronto in 2016 was the first World Tour event to be held on Canadian soil since the Québec Open in 2011 and featured victories for Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt and Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst. The spectator experience was further enhanced with the same Hawkeye setup as per the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which includes key match data and other facts and figures, providing a fitting finale to an action-packed season.