It’s Christmas in August and that’s because it’s the Granddaddy of ‘em all… the Wimbledon of beach volleyball… the Super Bowl of our sport. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the most highly-anticipated beach volleyball event of the year for athletes and fans— the AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open.
This beach town is a special place for the AVP because it can be argued that this was the spot where beach volleyball started. Plus, Manhattan Beach has some of the deepest sand in the world, and winning a title here means you have entered the Hall of Fame. Athletes from around the globe understand the significance of MBO and wish they had the opportunity to compete on the AVP and win the cherished Manhattan Beach Open title. Securing a championship win here means you go down in history as one of the Greats, placing your plaque on the Manhattan Beach Pier to remain there for eternity.
Did that fire you up for this weekend?! The best on the beach have traveled back to SoCal for the second AVP Gold Series event, aiming to take home their slice of the $300,000 prize purse. This weekend will be a 32-team Main Draw with 14 auto-entries based on AVP points, 10 wild card entries based on AVPNext circuit wins and AVP invitations, and 8 teams from Thursday’s Qualifiers.
All of these reasons collectively make this weekend the beach volleyball event of the summer, showing why every fan needs to be on the sand with us. If that describes you, we have some important information to help you get the ‘W’ this weekend.
In case you don’t like volleyball…
It is a beach volleyball event, but we understand not all of you are here for the volley. You may be here because of FOMO (fear of missing out), nice weather, you heard cold beer would be served, or you were simply forced by a friend to attend. Regardless of the reason, we have a line-up of top-notch events for all our fans to enjoy.
Thursday at 3:30: The Pier Ceremony is a tradition that cannot be missed. The AVP will acknowledge the 2018 AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open Champions and honor them by engraving their names in history. Share this special moment with April Ross, Alix Klineman, Phil Dalhausser, Nick Lucena, and other dedicated AVP fans.
Thursday at 5pm: Kick off a weekend of volleyball with the Sunset Party on Club AVP’s Skydeck. Enjoy live music and food & drinks from downtown Manhattan Beach’s bars & restaurants. Go local and purchase your ticket here.
Friday at 6:30am: Whether you plan to attend the tournament or not, fans can RSVP for free Sunrise Yoga with Tone It Up’s Chevy Laurent. This may help you justify crushing Drake Pops in Club AVP later in the day.
There is no easy way to say this… parking sucks. Get here early or best of luck to ya. If you aren’t local or have not been to MBO before, please be aware there is a massive hill on Manhattan Beach Blvd, so choose wisely which items you decide to unload from the car for your beach day. Walking to the event, it’s all downhill (what a breeze). But, after a day of sun and Kona beers, that uphill journey back to the car becomes incrementally harder (not a breeze at all).
Speaking of drinking
Because of permitting, there will be no Kona Brewing Beer Garden or Stella Rosa Wine Garden. The only place you can enjoy adult beverages at this year’s event is up in Club AVP’s Skydeck, which is NOT open to the public. Tickets are limited but you can purchase yours before they sell out.
Saturday night at Shark’s Cove, the AVP tradition will continue with its Player Party. The party starts at 9pm, but we want to make sure you get there early. Between it being a warm summer night in Manhattan Beach, the AVP taking over the town, and the pros being the best people on the planet 😎, we know the crowds and the line for our Player Party will be big. Enjoy a night of hanging with the athletes, AVP drink specials, and a DJ set from PALS (AVP staffers turned great DJs)
Enjoy downtown Manhattan Beach
Yes, we think you should watch every match, every day this weekend. But we know that isn’t realistic. We don’t want you to go too far though (because it’s important to support local AND we want you to come back in an hour for another match), so here are the official recommendations from AVP staff and AVP pros.
Shellback – This hole-in-the-wall bar is synonymous with the Manhattan Beach Open. Why? When four athletes raise the trophy Sunday afternoon, it’s tradition (for 20+ years now) they head to Shellback with their fans and sit at the Champion’s table. Plus, Shellback is the closest bar to the beach, giving customers killer views. A great spot to come as you are (most likely in your bathing suit and a sunburn to match) to enjoy drinking games, their famous Fanta Shot (don’t ask, just order), and observe the history of the beach volleyball community hanging on the walls.
The Kettle – A local restaurant that is known for their breakfast, regardless of if it’s between 7am and 10am or between 12am and 2am. The Kettle hits the spot, especially those muffins! While many of the bars & restaurants in Manhattan Beach are on the smaller side, The Kettle is a larger restaurant with lots of tables inside and outside.
MB Post – This is a brunch and dinner fave for a lot of the pros on tour. Although it’s a higher price point than other places on the street, it’s worth it! Known for their bacon-cheddar biscuits served with warm apple butter, these shareable plates will satisfy your entire party.
Hennessey’s – This Irish pub and restaurant is great for large groups and has multiple locations in the South Bay. They have good Bloody Mary and Mimosa deals on the weekend so maybe start there before the first match? Rumor on the street is, this will be the homebase for Emily Day’s Entourage and the large, teal banner out front will make it hard to miss.
The Beehive – Take in the charm of Manhattan Beach with The Beehive, a local boutique with great quality clothes that has been styling members of the community since the 90’s.
Fusion Sushi – If you are looking to have a good time, request the back room. Just do it and make sure your karaoke song is ready.