The Pro Volleyball Federation has added two more franchises, announcing one in Orlando and one in San Diego.
That brings to six the number of teams for the women’s pro volleyball league that plans to start competition in February 2024. Previously, PVF announced teams in Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Omaha, Nebraska.
The San Diego franchise was announced Thursday and includes as its one of its owners Kerri Walsh Jennings. Jennings, who gained fame as a three-time beach volleyball Olympic gold medalist who also won a bronze, was an All-American indoors player for Stanford who played on the USA indoors Olympics team that placed 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 Someone Great Management, LLC, along with other business partners.
“This is one of the most exciting days of my professional career,” Walsh Jennings said in a PVF news release. “I have been very fortunate to be in a position to achieve so many dreams in my life, but today marks the beginning of me being able to establish a true legacy. I am passionate about the vision of Pro Volleyball Federation and making this San Diego team the very best it can be.”
PVF said that Walsh Jennings, inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame last October, will also be an equity holder 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, chairman of the Orlando Magic, while the Omaha team is owned in part by entertainment superstar Jason Derulo.
On Wednesday, the PVF announced its Orlando franchise. That team is owned by Florida businessman David Forman.
“This is very exciting for me and my family, and we can’t wait to bring professional women’s volleyball to Orlando,” Forman said. “Orlando is a city known worldwide for making dreams come true, and that’s what Pro Volleyball Federation is all about — providing a new horizon for these amazing athletes to be able to live out their dreams by playing professionally at the highest level, and doing so at home in the United States.”
There are other Orlando connections to the PVF. The Grand Rapids franchise is owned and operated by DP Fox Sports & Entertainment and its chairman Dan DeVos, who also serves as Chairman and Governor of the Orlando Magic. The DeVos family also owns and operates the minor-league hockey team the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL, the Osceloa Magic of the NBA G League, and Magic Gaming of the NBA 2K League.
Neither the Orlando nor San Diego franchises said where they will play. The league expects to add two more teams for the first season.