The Pro Volleyball Federation added two more franchises, announcing one in Orlando and one in San Diego.
That adds up to six teams in the Women’s Professional Volleyball League, which plans to begin competing in February 2024. Earlier, the PVF had announced teams in Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Omaha, Nebraska.
The San Diego franchise was announced Thursday and includes Kerri Walsh Jennings as one of its owners. Jennings, who rose to fame as a three-time Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball who also won bronze, was an American indoor competitor for Stanford who played for the U.S. indoor Olympic team that finished fourth in the 2000 Olympics.
The San Diego franchise, according to the PVF, will also be owned by “longtime business associate Mitch Grossbach and his company Something Great Management, LLC, along with other business partners.
“This is one of the most exciting days of my professional career,” said Walsh Jennings in a PVF press release. “I have been very lucky to be able to fulfill so many dreams in my life, but today is the beginning of my ability to create a real legacy. I am passionate about the Pro Volleyball Federation’s vision of making this San Diego team the best it can be.”
The PVF said Walsh Jennings, inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame last October, will also be a shareholder in the League. Other founding partners include Super Bowl and Pro Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow along with his parents Jimmy and Robin Burrow. The Grand Rapids franchise is owned and operated by Dan DeVos, president of the Orlando Magic, while the Omaha team is partially owned by entertainment superstar Jason Derulo.
On Wednesday, PVF announced a franchise in Orlando. This team is owned by Florida businessman David Forman.
“It’s very exciting for me and my family, and we can’t wait to bring professional women’s volleyball to Orlando,” said Forman. “Orlando is a world-renowned city for making dreams come true, and that’s what the Pro Volleyball Federation is all about – giving these amazing athletes new horizons so they can live their dreams by playing professionally at the highest level and doing it at home in the United States.”
There are other Orlando connections to PVF. The Grand Rapids franchise is owned and operated by DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and its president Dan DeVos, who is also the president and governor of the Orlando Magic. The DeVos family also owns and operates the second division hockey team Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, Osceloa Magic of the NBA G League and Magic Gaming of the NBA 2K League.
Neither the Orlando nor San Diego clubs have said where they will play. The league expects to add two more teams for the first season.