Last week, Birmingham celebrated some really great news! The city was chosen to host the 2021 World Games!
What are the World Games you ask? The games are held every four years in between the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, hence why Birmingham is hosting the games in 2021. The games bring in thousands of athletes and over 100 countries including the United States to participate in the sports. The games have sports that are not included in the Olympic Games, like artistic roller skating, parachuting, orienteering, casting, lifesaving, karate, tug-of-war, and the weirdest, korfball.
Interesting, since the World Games was started in 1981, Italy leads the overall medal count with 400 medals, Germany is second with 353 medals, and the United States is third with 330 medals. Let’s hope the USA can take over first place in 2021! And having the World Games in Birmingham is going to be huge for Birmingham, all of Alabama, and the United States. Events will be held all across Alabama, and the estimated economic impact for hosting the games is over $250 million!
Even though the economic impact will be big, the cost of staging the games is expected to be roughly $75 million. And Birmingham will pay $3.5 million to get things started for the World Games hosting in 2021. Now, the fun part begins to make sure the World Games runs smoothly in the Birmingham Metro. Infrastructure must be improved, logistics must be refined, new hotel rooms and places to stay must be built, and facilities must be improved or built to handle the sports.
Having Birmingham host the World Games will be huge for Birmingham. During the games, up to one million spectators will be converging on the Magic City. Birmingham has been healing from its turbulent past ranging from the Civil Rights Movement to the corrupted political officials that plunged the metro into bankruptcy. Hosting a major event like this, that will be shown worldwide to billions of people, will give the impression to people that Birmingham has changed for the better.
If done right, you will give billions of people around the world a reason why to visit the Birmingham Metro and the state of Alabama. The metro has great attractions, features, events, restaurants, small businesses, museums, and more! The rest of the state will also benefit! People will see the natural beauty of Alabama from the lakes, parks, forests, and other beautiful outdoor features. People will also see the southern hospitality people in Alabama are known for! Who knows, it might even get some people to move to Alabama?
And another upside, the World Games will give sports savvy people something else to think about other than college football for a short time. I hope Birmingham can host a clean and successful World Games in 2021. This is one of those few events that will unite everyone in Alabama! No matter if you are white, black, straight, gay, big, or small, the World Games will make everyone in Alabama happy! I can’t wait for 2021!