As I wrote in a previous post back in January (Click Here to read) the AVP Volleyball Tour that travels the country highlighting the best players in sand volleyball made a stop in Arizona this past weekend. Previously they had called Tempe home, but changed the venue this year to The Westgate City Center in Glendale. I must admit, I've only been out to Westgate a couple of times. Once to the then Cardinals Stadium (now known as the University of Phoenix Stadium) for The Men's Luxury Toy Expo and Auction with my father so we could gawk at all of the different ways to spend money on completely useless items. I've also been out there to see a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game at the Jobing.com Arena earlier this year. Both times we neglected to take a good tour of the entire Westgate City Center area.
Being that my wife is a volleyball nut, playing on scholarship at NAU, and now coaching various club and high school teams around the valley, we, of course, had to make some time to go and watch some pretty amazing athletes play beach volleyball. We went Saturday night (neither one of us had any interest in sitting through the 100 degree heat during the day) and got to see 3 matches. The highlight of the night was getting to see Misty May and Keri Walsh, pictured above, (both of which my wife played against in college) beat up on there opponents advancing to the Quarter Finals of the tournament.
Even more than getting to enjoy the beach volleyball atmosphere and getting the opportunity to see Olympic gold medalists do what they do best, we also had a chance to walk around and experience the Westgate City Center just a little bit. I was quite impressed with what they have to offer. It's not just a gathering of sports venues and the obligitory grouping of restaurants that typically accompany, but they also had shopping (both boutique and national stores), night clubs/bars, a movie theater, hotels, residential development and commercial office space all set in a small downtown setting. It reminded me of a combination of The Arizona Center and Kierland.
If you haven't had a chance to visit I'd recommend doing so. It's worth it.