Budapest replaces Los Angeles as host of inaugural GAISF World Urban Games

Budapest has replaced Los Angeles as the host of the inaugural GAISF World Urban Games this year and has been offered the right to stage the second edition of the event in 2021.

Budapest initially lost out to the Californian city in a race to host the new event, but a statement released by GAISF this morning indicated a change of plan.

“In November 2018, the GAISF Council began discussions with Los Angeles for a 2019 edition. After much deliberation, however, the Council decided that Budapest’s proposed sports programme was more in line with GAISF’s vision for the future of the Games,” said the statement.

The World Urban Games concept, launched at last year’s Sport Accord in Bangkok, is a 5-day event designed to showcase a new-generation of urban sports. Although the sports programme has yet to be announced, eligible sports include: 3×3 Basketball, BMX Freestyle Cycling, Breakdance, Climbing, Parkour and Skateboarding.

Budapest entered the race to host the 2024 Summer Olympics before bowing out in the face of public opposition. The city has worked hard to build its profile through sport having hosted the Fina World Aquatics Championships last year. It will also host the 2023 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said: “I am delighted to announce that the World Urban Games will take place in the dynamic city of Budapest. One of the most iconic cities in Europe, Budapest will provide a perfect location for this exciting event, bringing sport to the heart of the city. We are grateful to our friends in Budapest for their enthusiasm and commitment to the World Urban Games.

“I would also like to thank Balázs Fürjes, [Hungarian state secretary for the development of Budapest and major sport events] who has already proved his outstanding leadership capabilities during the Budapest 2024 bid and the successful staging of the Fina 2017 World Championships. Without his dedication, his belief in youth engagement and his creative approach, we would not have reached an agreement so quickly. I am looking forward to seeing the development of the Games in the coming months.”

The International Olympic Committee welcomed the partnership between GAISF and Budapest, with director general Christophe De Kepper saying:

“Budapest has proved many times that it is a great host city for major international sport events. It’s a perfect city to launch a pioneering initiative that will positively impact the future of sport.

“The World Urban Games Budapest 2019 will be an excellent platform for showcasing 3×3 Basketball and BMX freestyle, both of which will be on the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020. It is a great opportunity to test innovations that will bring sport closer to youth.”