Alabama State Games coming to Huntsville in 2018-2019
$1.5 million in economic impact, 6,000 athletes expected
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2017
(Huntsville, AL) – Sports fans in Huntsville: mark your calendars, because the state’s largest annual multi-sport event for youth and adults is coming to town next June. The Alabama State Games are set to be held in Huntsville for the next two years, taking place June 8-10, 2018, and June 7-9, 2019, with the option of June 12-14, 2020. The event showcases over 20 sports with roughly 6,000 athletes of all ages and skill levels competing.
The Alabama State Games are part of a nationwide network of state games with the National Congress of State Games (NCSG). The NCSG is a membership organization comprised of over 35 Summer State Games and 10 Winter State Games organizations, as well as a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Multi Sport Organizational Council.
The state games programs began in the early 1980s as part of a grassroots effort to increase athlete awareness and involvement in Olympic sports, and to foster participation in the Olympic Games.
Bringing the games to Huntsville/Madison County was a partnered effort, including City of Huntsville Parks and Recreation, Huntsville Sports Commission, the Madison County Commission, and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). Alabama Senator Arthur Orr also played a key role in the accomplishment, saying, “It is exciting to think that Huntsville and Madison County will serve as the host for the next few years to many thousands of young athletes from both Alabama and beyond. It is a tremendous opportunity to showcase north Alabama and all it has to offer, as well as positively impacting the area economy.”
“Huntsville has an outstanding reputation for hosting sporting events. Our athletic fields and indoor facilities provide a perfect opportunity for the Alabama Sports Festival games,” said Ralph Stone with the Huntsville Sports Commission.
The State Games begin with an official opening ceremony, typically accompanied by a celebration and festivities that are open to the public.
Multiple athletic facilities across Huntsville/Madison County will be used for the event, with the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau estimating economic impact to be $1.5 million each year.
“Being selected to host hallmark events like the Alabama State Games is a testament to Huntsville’s reputation as a top meeting and event destination,” said Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the CVB. “Our city offers first-class facilities that meet the needs of a large variety of sporting events.”
An added benefit of hosting the games is the statewide media coverage it will bring to Huntsville/Madison County.
“It’s nice to be recognized as a destination of choice for athletic events covering a variety of sports. We are glad to welcome athletes and their families to Huntsville and hope they have a good time and enjoy all that the Rocket City has to offer on and off the field and court,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
Steve Ivey, Director of Parks and Recreation, also expressed excitement saying, “Hosting the 2018 Alabama State Games is a very fortunate opportunity for the city of Huntsville to show off our facilities and employees, as well as create a positive economic impact on the area.”
According to the most recent report from the Alabama Tourism Department, the travel industry pumped $1.13 billion into Madison County’s economy in 2015 and is responsible for well over 15,000 local jobs. On average, every household in Madison County saves close to $625 on their taxes each year thanks to the local impact of travel and tourism.
In 2016 alone, over 1,000 meetings were brought to Huntsville/Madison County.