There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Brandon Gee, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
After a hiatus due to financial issues, the Association of Volleyball Professionals tour returned in 2012 and included a return trip to Cincinnati. In the past, the AVP stop had been at the suburban Lindner Family Tennis Center, but in 2012 the tournament would set up at an unusual venue. Well, it wasn’t a ‘venue’, per se, but a street near the city’s downtown core. Sand was trucked in and laid over the cobblestone Elm Street in the city’s historic Over The Rhine neighborhood between the Music Hall performing arts theater and the then newly-remodeled, Washington Park, oddly enough, Google Maps captured the aerial view of the volleyball set up on its Maps service.
While the setting was certainly unique, and the event was deemed a success by organizers, 2013 would see the AVP return to the Lindner Family Tennis Center, outside of Cincinnati in suburban Mason, Ohio.
The Lindner Center is a massive 16 court complex that serves as the home of the ATP’s Western & Southern Open, a stop on that tour that has become one of the more important non-Grand Slam events on the tennis calendar.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The 2013 Open saw a small but solid collection of food vendors including Larosa's pizza, Culver's Frozen Custard, and Qdoba Mexican Grill. The most expensive item was $8, a fully loaded burrito from Qdoba.
16oz Budweiser beers are $5 and Barefoot wines are $5 for an eight ounce pour.
Please note that all vendors are cash only, so you'll want to be sure to have some cash on hand if you plan to have anything to eat or drink.
Lindner Center is a huge complex, with 16 tennis courts in total. The AVP Cincinnati Open only used Court #3 as its main stadium and filled the open plaza, normally used for retail stands, across the main walkway with sand for Courts 1 and 2.
Courts 1 and 2 had a really cool atmosphere as fans lined up around the perimeter, being able to watch matches merely a few feet away. Court #3 had the more professional feel, with the broadcast from CBS Sports set up.
The area is both full of tourist attractions and a normal suburban community. Across I-71 is King's Island amusement park, which has a great collection of some of the country's best rollercoasters and includes a waterpark. Neighboring that is a Great Wolf Lodge which is a kid-friendly "resort" that has its own waterpark. Cross back over the highway and there's yet another waterpark north of King's Mill Road called The Beach. There are a number of hotels covering a wide range of prices. The tourism site of Warren County, where Mason resides, is at OhiosLargestPlayground.com.
Next to Lindner sits the Golf Center at King's Island, whose 9 & 18-hole courses were both designed by golf legend and Ohio native, Jack Nicklaus. Outside of that you'll find office parks and a suburban community with all the subdivisions and strip malls that come with it.
Cincinnati is the only Midwestern stop on the 2013 AVP tour, and it is surprising to see beach volleyball fans travel so well to support their sport. I noticed seeing many license plates from neighboring states in the parking lot and reading social media chatter about the event where people from across the country were noting their travels to the tourney in Ohio.
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, rain played a factor in the event in 2013. This forced events to be shuffled around from Saturday's evening session to Sunday. Regardless, ticket sales were strong, including having the All Sessions passes sell out.
The Lindner Tennis Center is located in Mason, an exurb community about 25 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The complex sits next to I-71, right across from King's Island amusement park.
From I-71, take Exit 25 (Kings Mill Road/OH 741) and go west. You'll notice signs for the AVP directing you to turn left on Courseview Drive. Once past the office parks, look for the AVPs signs and turn left on Bluewater Way. Parking attendants will direct you to the open spots.
With the way the tourney is set up, only the north entrance and parking lots are used.
There is a bus out to the area on weekends, Metro's #72 (Kings Island Direct), a 40 minute trip but the last stop drops you at a hotel on the other side of the highway near the amusement park, leaving a 30 minute walk to Lindner. It's also limited to a few trips a day, so a car is your best bet for getting here.
The qualifier day is free and open to the public. All-Sessions passes for the main draw (2 sessions on Saturday, the Sunday session, and Monday Finals) could be had for $60 and single session tickets were $20/session for General Admission seating in the Center Court stadium or $35/session for Courtside Seating(a separated section of the first six rows) in Center Court. Kids 5 and under are free. Food is decently priced and parking is free.
Also, remember that this tourney features some of the best athletes in their sport, including Olympians from the 2012 London Games including Kerri Walsh Jennings (who won her third Olympic gold in London), Silver Medalists April Ross and Jen Kessy and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser.
One point for the intimacy of the event. Despite the large scale of the center, the close proximity of the three courts made it incredibly easy to walk back and forth and always catch a match in action.
One point for the high level of competition, while still giving an avenue for local teams or other amateur competitors to compete through qualifiers on the first day.
Things appear to be looking good for the AVP tour these days and hopefully Cincinnati remains a part of it. The move to the Lindner Center may not be as novel as the 2012 setting for this event, but certainly offers better amenities from a logistical standpoint. Nonetheless, it's a nice honor for the area to be the de facto Midwestern stop on the tour.
There are no crowd reviews yet. Be the first and help us build with your expertise!
There are no local food and drink entries. Help us build with your expertise!
6300 Kings Island Dr
Mason, OH 45040
2501 Great Wolf Dr
Mason, OH 45040
2590 Water Park Dr
Mason, OH 45040
There are no local lodging entries. Help us build with your expertise!