The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) is searching for a new host for its inaugural World Beach Games after announcing that the event will not be held in the US city of San Diego as originally planned.
San Diego had been due to host the event from October 10-15 this year but has withdrawn amid financial issues. ANOC itself did not give a reason for the city’s withdrawal but said it is currently in discussion with “a number of cities that have the financial guarantees necessary” to host the event.
ANOC said that the Games will still take place in 2019, with an announcement on the new host city to be made in due course.
San Diego was first announced as the host of the event in October 2015 and it had originally been scheduled to take place in 2017. The Games were eventually postponed until this year to allow International Federations more time to prepare athletes for the event.
In a statement reported by the Times of San Diego newspaper, Vincent Mudd, chairman of the Games-organising San Diego Exploratory Foundation, said: “Due to challenges with securing the necessary sponsorships for the inaugural 2019 ANOC World Beach Games in San Diego this October, and the time sensitivity, we have regretfully learned the Association of National Olympic Committees has decided to withdraw the event from San Diego.
“San Diego has a long history of successfully hosting major events, including Super Bowls and World Series among others. The planned athlete experiences and excellence of our venues were always to be of the highest quality. At the end of the day, we simply could not reach financial agreements that were amenable to both sides. This was a first-time event with no historical private-sector support and we were prepared to meet ANOC’s goals.”
More than 70 National Olympic Committees have qualified for the inaugural World Beach Games, which is set to feature 14 sports.
The news comes as another blow to California, with Los Angeles having earlier this year lost hosting rights to the inaugural GAISF World Urban Games to Budapest. GAISF said at the time that Budapest’s proposed sports programme was more in line with its vision for the Games.