Back on May 25, 2018 the CEV announced some changes to the annual Champions League tournament. The changes were reported HERE. One of the biggest shifts in the tournament is the elimination of the Final Four. It will instead be replaced by a “Grand Finale.” This event will host the finals for both the men’s and women’s tournaments on consecutive days instead of playing the semifinals and finals of each gender on different weekends in separate cities.
Unlike in previous editions of the tournament, the semifinals will not be played on this final weekend. Instead the semifinals will be played over two legs at the sites of the participating teams. The hosts of the “Grand Finale” will not automatically qualify the way they have traditionally.
On June 5 the CEV opened the bidding process to host finals. They released a 26-page book that lays out the requirements for hosting the culminating weekend of Europe’s top club volleyball competition. This document calls for the applicants to provide documents involving many aspects of organizing such an event including the following:
- A one-page concept document highlighting the vision the potential city has for the event
- Letters of support from local officials, sponsors, and other organizations involved in the application
- A draft budget
- An international guarantee of up to EUR 500,000 to fulfill any unmet obligations
- An event organizational chart of the management team and workforce
- Host city guarantee for branding
- Description of the host city
- Information about the venue with pictures
- A guarantee for the exclusive use of the venue from 3 days before the competitions to 1 day after the last match
- A map of the city with a list of nearby hotels and agreements from local hotels about usage for those involved
- A promotional plan with details about how to engage fans on a regional, national, and international level
- A marketing plan and a description of the marketing structure
- List of potential side events and an entertainment plan for the venue in addition to volleyball
- Transportation plan including hotel information and public transportation details
- A security plan
The CEV also stated that a minimum bid will equal at least EUR 1,000,000. The potential host cities were also informed that they should expect to accommodate 100 team delegation members, 10 CEV officials, and 200 accredited media. Those hoping to host Europe’s biggest volleyball matches have until August 31, 2018 to submit their applications.