By: Jenn Schanz
For almost 30 years, it was hosted in Lincoln.
But in 2009, the Nebraska School Activities Association awarded the state high school volleyball tournament to Grand Island.
NSAA board members cited the capital city's lack of a new arena as reason for their decision.
Four years and a new arena later, the tournament is back.
Mayor Beutler says this time around, people have a lot more to look forward to than just a good game.
"We can promise the players and the coaches and the fans, new and updated facilities. But not only new and updated facilities, but new hotels and new restaurants and new entertainment options all together."
Lincoln will host the tournament for the next three years, starting in 2014.
The Mayor says both the construction of the Pinnacle Bank Arena and the renovation of the Devaney Center played a role in bringing the tournament home.
Jeff Maul of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau agrees.
"The two facilities; the Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Center, are the two best athletic facilities if not in the state, within the region," says Maul.
For business owners in the new West Haymarket, the tournament's return is one more way to cash in.
"Having an event back in Lincoln like that will just be a boom for everybody in the area," says John Kalogeras, General Manager of the Courtyard Marriott.
The Mayor says state volleyball's presence is just one other way the city is growing.