When the world comes to Birmingham, Alabama, for The World Games 2022, it will get to see across the metro area. The live sport events will take place at 14 venues, setting the scene for the return of the games to the United States, as well as a return to normalcy following two years of pandemic-related disruptions to global sporting events. This includes The World Games, which were initially slated to occur in 2021.
If there were any silver lining to the delayed games, it was the completion of venues that wouldn’t have been available in 2021, explained Josh Bryant, Chief Financial Officer for the games.
“From Protective Stadium to City Walk BHAM, home of the Regions World Games Plaza, we got to see these venues come to completion for the 2022 World Games. It’s exciting,” Bryant, a Regions loaned executive, said.
As the City of Birmingham plays host to the main event, many of its key landmarks will also be in the spotlight.
“Birmingham is absolutely thrilled to welcome the world to our town for the historic World Games event. The beauty of this event is that the games won’t be confined to one location, so spectators will be able to explore and experience multiple facets of the Magic City,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. “From Legacy Arena and Protective Stadium to historic landmarks like Legion Field and Sloss Furnaces and many more, all areas of our city will be engaged and excited to be part of history.”
The beauty of this event is that the games won’t be confined to one location, so spectators will be able to explore and experience multiple facets of the Magic City.
Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham Alabama
Down the road from the Magic City, in Hoover, Alabama, Mayor Frank Brocato looks forward to welcoming the games.
“Participating in The World Games is very big for Hoover. But I think it’s really big for the entire metro area and that’s how we’ve approached it – that it’s something good for all of us, and we want to make sure every venue is really good,” Brocato said. “It’s such an honor and we’re excited to host events like this. We host lots of events that attract people from all over the country. Now we’ll get an opportunity to host people from all over the world.”
Gene Hallman, president and CEO of the Bruno Event Team, which is part of the management team for The World Games, believes this will be the highest quality and widest variety of venues ever presented in the history of The World Games.
“I believe our guests from all over the world will be surprised by the quality of the venues located here in the Birmingham area for The World Games,” Hallman said. “Our community has so many unique venue strengths.”
Hallman points out that few cities have two major outdoor stadiums like Birmingham does with the new Protective Stadium and historic Legion Field. There’s also the beautiful Hoover Met, which annually hosts the SEC Baseball Tournament. Additionally, Hallman said, the Legacy Arena is recently updated and is state of the art.
We host lots of events that attract people from all over the country. Now we’ll get an opportunity to host people from all over the world.
Frank Brocato, Mayor of Hoover Alabama
“Both UAB and Birmingham-Southern College have a wide assortment of NCAA high-quality competition venues, and the Crossplex is a special facility that will serve as an excellent host for its athletes and fans,” Hallman said. “Air Sports will be held in part at the World Class Barber Motorsports Park, which houses the world’s largest collection of motorcycles. Oak Mountain State Park has already hosted many national class water ski competitions, and both Avondale Park and Bessie Estell Park provide a unique neighborhood vibe.”
Echoing Mayor Woodfin, Hallman noted the importance of some sports being held in historic venues such as Sloss Furnaces, Boutwell Auditorium and Powell Steam Plant.
Excitement around all the games and venues grows as the event draws nearer. And the benefits of playing host could go well beyond the games.
“I’m hearing from people all over the city how excited they are to host people from all over the world. They think it’s pretty cool,” Brocato shared. “There will be folks from countries that are heavily involved in STEM businesses. When they come to the Birmingham-Hoover Metro area and see the quality of life we have – and they’re thinking about expansion – we hope they’ll think highly of us.”
The games begin July 7. Check www.doingmoretoday.com frequently for more updates and information on The World Games.