ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Convention Center officials said June is the busiest month so far this year with more than a dozen events scheduled.
OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester said the convention center has slowly been recovering from the pandemic since the end of last year, but said June is their best month yet.
“Our convention calendar both with sporting events and national convention and trade shows is busy really as it ever is,” Tester said.
The Amateur Athletic Union Junior National Volleyball Championship is taking over the North and South Concourse of the convention center for the next 11 days.
Organizers said nearly 3,500 teams from around the country are participating, which is nearly triple the size of last year’s tournament. Last year the event was scaled back due to the pandemic.
News 6 spoke with some of the volleyball players who say they are excited to be back on the court.
“I’m really happy that we can finally play again,” Lily Aubain said.
”It’s been so long after not playing for months,” Xyia Toussaint said.
Aubain and Toussaint traveled from the U.S. Virgin Islands to participate in the tournament.
Rusty Buchanan, the President and CEO of the AAU, said they’re excited to give kids the chance to play in the tournament again.
“We’re finally back and this is an opportunity to let kids do what they really want to do and that’s just to play and participate,” Buchanan said.
The volleyball tournament is one of 14 events scheduled for June at the Orange County Convention Center. The volleyball championship is expected to have a $173 million economic impact.
Tester said this is their biggest and best month since the pandemic began. The events are expected to give a huge boost to the area.
“To be where we’re at here on International Drive, busy hopefully for the next 12 days is a great feeling,” Tester said.
OCCC officials said dozens of events are scheduled for the remainder of the year which are projected to have a $1.5 billion economic impact on Orange County.
Click here to view the calendar of events for the Orange County Convention Center.