The host city of Vancouver, British Columbia, has been selected for the NORCECA Men’s Tokyo Qualification Tournament to be held at the Pacific Coliseum, January 10 to 12, 2020.

The three-day round-robin tournament will feature host Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico vying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Canada must finish first to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

“As recently announced by NORCECA, we are very excited to host the Continental Qualifier in Vancouver in January,” Alan Ahac, Director of International Events for Volleyball Canada, said. “The main objective for our men’s team is to win the tournament, and we’re also looking forward to exposing fans from the Lower Mainland and around BC to international men’s volleyball with so much on the line for all the teams involved.”

Canada finished fifth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio after a 24-year absence from the Games. Currently ranked sixth in the FIVB World Ranking, Canada will be the highest ranked team at the qualifier in Vancouver. The United States, also a member of NORCECA, is already qualified to the Tokyo Games as winners of an international qualification tournament in Rotterdam, one of the six FIVB World Qualifiers.

“We are so pleased to have great partners in Volleyball BC and the Province of British Columbia, who came together to bring this world-class event to Vancouver. The 2020 Continental Qualifier will be a unique opportunity for our volleyball community to rally and provide Canada with a home court advantage,” said Michelle Collens, Senior Manager of Sport Hosting at the City of Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver has a proven ability to stage world-class sporting events in a highly successful manner. With the support of local event partners including Sport Hosting Vancouver and provincial organization Volleyball BC, this 2020 Olympic Qualifier will take place in a legacy venue. During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Pacific Coliseum was the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating.

“Our government is thrilled to support the 2020 Continental Qualifier here in B.C.,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Bringing this Olympic qualifier to Vancouver will allow the members of Canada’s men’s volleyball team to compete on home court and will create fun and exciting opportunities for people here and draw new visitors into B.C. to support local economies.”

Nearby Richmond, B.C. is the home of the women’s team that is currently competing for a spot in a similar qualifier to be held in Dominican Republic in January.

“Sporting events like the Men’s Volleyball Continental Qualification tournament bring people together, attract visitors, and add vibrancy to our community,” said Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “I’m excited to welcome these top teams to Vancouver and hope their presence inspires future generations to excel in sport.”