News broke this morning that our own Birmingham, Alabama will host the 2021 World Games, and we're excited. We're also a little confused about what the World Games actually are, but let's start with excited. These games could be a really good thing for Birmingham businesses because they'll bring in tourism (and a little bit of fun), and that will boost our economy.
News broke this morning that our own Birmingham, Alabama will host the 2021 World Games, and we’re excited. We’re also a little confused about what the World Games actually are, but let’s start with excited. These games could be a really good thing for Birmingham businesses, and here’s why:
The World Games Brings an Influx of Athletes (and Tourism)
More tourists in town is generally good for all of our local businesses, giving us a boost in revenue and excitement.
Birmingham’s Winning World Games Host Bid Brings Us Credibility
If we can host a successful World Games event, we can prove that we can host other major events that we’ve tried for and missed out on in the past (like political conventions and other major sports events).
Birmingham Won’t Have to Build New Infrastructure for the World Games
If we’re interpreting the rules of the games correctly, host cities aren’t allowed to construct new facilities to host the games. This is a much more conservative approach to hosting an event than some Birmingham leaders have proposed in the past (Everyone remembers that Olympic hosting dream, right?), and given our city’s not-so-private financial troubles, a fiscally responsible approach is probably better in the long run.
So, just what are the World Games? They’re basically sports that haven’t been selected as Olympic events. That includes bowling, archery, kickboxing, football and even Olympic-dropout sports like tug of war. And it includes some sports that are a little more … interesting. I’m personally pretty psyched to find out what canoe polo is all about, to see some artistic rollerskating, and to find out what exactly a “korfball” is.
Some World Games sports actually get picked up by the Olympics, too — beach volleyball, triathlon and badminton are all former World Games events that are now in the Olympics. With any luck, Birmingham’s World Games win can propel us to bigger and better things, too.