SEAL BEACH : City Alters Rules of Volleyball Tourney

Following the lead of other cities on the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals circuit, City Council members Monday made changes in the ground rules for this year's Miller Lite Professional Beach Volleyball Tournament.

The council voted to eliminate the VIP tent in which beer is served. In the past, Miller distributors have entertained clients in the tent, but Seal Beach council members nixed it this year. The council also voted to require tournament operators to provide shuttle service to help alleviate parking problems.

While business owners say the two-day event, scheduled for Aug. 10 and 11, helps boost sales at local establishments, some residents of the area have complained of congested streets, blocked driveways and littered lawns.

Matt Gage, tour director for the Assn. of Volleyball Professionals, said the tournament's benefits to the city outweigh the negative impacts but added that he will work with city staff members to address residents' concerns.

The council also voted to charge a permit fee for the use of the beach for the first time, noting that Hermosa Beach, another city on the tour, charges $3,000 for use of its beach.

"I think we should be getting the same fee as Hermosa," said Councilman Frank Laszlo.

City staff members will negotiate the fee with tour operators and bring it back to the council for approval.

Gage said the Hermosa fees, which were doubled this year, are higher than any of the other 19 cities on the tour.

In the past, Seal Beach has charged tournament operators only for parking, police and other services provided during the event. Last year, those services totaled about $10,000.

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