Polo Ponies Bring Thunder To North Avenue Beach For Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup

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Six Teams Will Compete Over a Three-Day Tournament September 9-11, 2016

The thrill of polo thunder will roll on the sands of North Avenue Beach as “The Sport of Kings” gets underway at the Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup this summer! On Friday, September 9th –Sunday, September 11th, coed teams from around the world will go mallet-to-mallet along Lake Michigan, competing in front of thousands of spectators to be crowned tournament champion. Poised against the city skyline, the game described as “hockey on horseback” will dominate the Windy City attracting Chicagoans and polo enthusiasts alike to watch, cheer and experience!

Featuring a custom-built (300 x 130 ft.) beach polo arena, North Avenue Beach will be transformed into an action packed sporting and social event complete with retail pop-up shops by Qatar Airways and U.S. Polo Association, luxury Champagne lounge by Veuve Clicquot, wine tasting tent, beer garden, restaurants, and a polo team ‘meet and greet’ area.

Beach polo consists of three players per team and lasts roughly 40 minutes per match. Teams confirmed to participate include: United States, Wales (The Royal Team), Buenos Aires, Canada, Chicago, and Washington.

“This year we hope to attract new spectators to the game of polo and put Chicago back on the world’s polo map where it belongs,” explains Gustavo Bilbao, Chicago Beach Polo Founder and professional player.

The origins of polo in Chicago date back to the 1950’s when the U.S. Polo Open Championship was played at the Oak Brook Polo Club. The American interest for the sport revived during the 1960’s and eventually in 1967, the USPA (United States Polo Association) moved its headquarters from New York, to Illinois.

The three-day tournament is sponsored by Qatar Airways and luxury brands such as Veuve Clicquot, U.S. Polo Assn., Hotel Lincoln, and The J. Parker. International supporters include HRH The Prince of Wales, and the Argentine Republic. Proceeds from the event will benefit Sentebale, a charity founded by Prince Harry of the British Royal Family and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho Royal Family. Sentebale supports orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom are affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Tickets for the Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup are $115 for VIP (includes a glass of Champagne and reserved area) and $65 for Club d’Elegance (general admission). Event schedule is Friday, September 9th from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m., Saturday, September 10th from 11 a.m. -7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 11 from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.chicagobeachpolocup.com

**The Qatar Airways Chicago Beach Polo Cup will host a media event on Tuesday, August 2nd at the Hotel Lincoln (1816 N Clark Street) at 11:00 a.m. More details to come.

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Daphne Ortiz
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