The US city of Birmingham, Alabama is expected to provide a new hosting model for the 2021 World Games after being confirmed as host of the multi-sport event by the International World Games Association (IWGA).
Birmingham was first revealed as host of the Games in January after it saw off rival bids from the Peruvian capital of Lima and Ufa in Russia. The Alabama city’s status as host remained subject to the negotiation of contractual conditions and official confirmation at the IWGA’s annual general meeting, which took place in Sochi, Russia today (Tuesday).
Speaking after the signing ceremony, IWGA president José Perurena said Birmingham will provide a new hosting model for the Games, with the 2021 event not having to depend on public funds like previous editions. “Birmingham offers a perfect setting for an event like the World Games,” Perurena said. “This refers not only to the required sporting venues and infrastructure.
“For us, it has been important that sponsors and private companies will collaborate with the World Games. The organisers in Birmingham do not depend on public money and this might be a future philosophy for hosting events like ours.”
The World Games – under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) – showcases more than 25 sports, such as gymnastics, squash, tug of war, sumo and roller sports. Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia.
Birmingham will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981. Perurena added: “We are sure that we will be offered optimal conditions for our sportsmen and women in Birmingham. We have to deliver nothing less than outstanding World Games. We are convinced that Birmingham will exceed these expectations.”