Lincoln, Neb.-- Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler announced Friday the Nebraska Sports Council and the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau have won the right for Lincoln to host the 2015 State Games of America July 28 through Aug. 2, 2015.
“We are very grateful to the National Congress of State Games Board of Directors for recognizing our Cornhusker State Games as a national model and for expressing their confidence that our community can produce a top-level experience for athletes and guests from all 50 states,” said Mayor Beutler.
The State Games of America have been conducted biennially since 1999 with host cities including St. Louis (1999, 2001), Hartford (2003), Colorado Springs (2005, 2007, 2009) and San Diego (2011). The 2013 State Games of America will be held this year in Hershey-Harrisburg, PA beginning July 31.
“The Nebraska Sports Council will serve as the Local Organizing Committee and is one of the flagship State Games programs in the nation,” said Marc Riker, President of the National Congress of State Games. “Athletes can expect a first-class event due to the Nebraska Sports Council’s reputation of commitment and experience in conducting events.”
The bid process began two years ago with research including surveys of participants, volunteers and sponsors who overwhelmingly approved the concept and pledged to participate.
“The Cornhusker State Games has a long-standing tradition here in Lincoln,” said Jeff Maul, Executive Director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitor's Bureau. “This event capitalizes on Lincoln’s recent success hosting large events as well as the changing landscape of facilities and the development in the Haymarket. Our guests will enjoy Lincoln’s event production and management experience as well as the overwhelming volunteer support.”
Under the State Games of America format, all residents of the host state are eligible to participate along with State Games participants from all other states who’ve earned a medal in the two years leading up to the State Games of America. The State Games of America will take the place of the Cornhusker State Games in 2015. More than 60 sports will be offered, an event record.
“We are estimating that the 2015 State Games of America in Lincoln will attract up to 18,000 participants, including 12,000 Nebraskans and 6,000 medalists from around the country, which would make it the largest State Games of America ever,” said Roger Lempke, Vice President of the Nebraska Sports Council. “With 18,000 participants, 5,000 volunteers and 24,000 additional spectators and guests, we could easily see a total attendance of over 47,000.”
The record for participants was set in Colorado Springs in 2009 with just over 10,000 competitors. The 2015 State Games of America will generate an estimated $20 million economic impact.