Greater Shepparton City Council has predicted this weekend’s beach volleyball event would bring up to $1million to the region’s economy.
However, the council was unable to confirm how much the Federation Internationale De Volleyball World Tour cost to run, after launching the event yesterday.
Mayor Kim O’Keeffe predicted there would be greater interest than last year with 15000 spectators expected to attend the four-day event from today until Sunday.
‘‘This will create a positive economic impact for the local community,’’ she said.
Cr O’Keeffe said it was exciting to get the opportunity to run the event for the second consecutive year, trucking in 600 tonnes of sand to build the courts.
‘‘Many players are coming to Shepparton as a prelude to the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast,’’ she said.
Playing partners Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann, who won last year, said they would use the event as a lead-up to the games.
‘‘It’s always good to play at home (in Australia),’’ Mr McHugh said.
Mr Schumann agreed, and said the event was well run last year.
‘‘It’s smart to have a festival running at the same time,’’ he said.
This year, the event will run in conjunction with the Shepparton Food Truck Carnival also rolling into Victoria Park Lake today.
The carnival will have more than 15 food trucks, entertainment, amusement rides and fireworks.
The council was asked how much this year’s event was expected to cost and whether the expected economic impact was an improvement on last year’s figures yesterday, but it did not respond by the time of print.
Cr O’Keeffe encouraged the community to head along to the free event where there was space for 500 spectators.
‘‘Greater Shepparton residents have the opportunity to see the best volleyball players in action from around the world,’’ she said.
Players from Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the United States and Venezuela will compete.
The event will run from today until Sunday at Victoria Park Lake. Entry is free, excluding Sunday’s finals.