Convention Center hosting largest event since start of pandemic

A big boost for the tourist area! The world's largest volleyball event is going to serve up huge crowds at the Orange County Convention Center.

More than 130,000 people are expected to attend the AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships. The event runs through the end of the month.

This competition has been holding its events at the convention center for nearly 20 years on-site, even last year when COVID-19 forced the facility to implement modified operations. It saw a much smaller crowd, only 9,600 players, chaperones, and coaches.

This year, the tournament is expected to see 135,000 attendees bringing in a projected $133 million. 

County leaders say this will help give the tourism economy a big boost after it took a massive hit last year.

"I hope that the people will keep in mind that we’ve got a long way to go to get back to where we were. We’ve got a long way to go to get back to replenishing," Phil Diamond, Orange County comptroller, said. 

Tournament attendees are encouraged to wear masks and there are some social distancing rules in place. The competition begins Friday and the event will be here until June 29.