Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that Lincoln will host the 2015 State Games of America July 28 through August 2, 2015. He thanked the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) and the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau (LCVB) for winning the right to host the national event, which is expected to draw 18,000 participants and generate an economic impact of $20 million.
Securing the rights to host the State Games of America was the result of two years of research and development by the NSC, LCVB and many facility and business partners. The research included surveys of participants, volunteers and sponsors who overwhelmingly approved the concept and pledged to participate.
"We're very proud of these partners and grateful to the Board of Directors of the National Congress of State Games for recognizing our Cornhusker State Games as a national model," said Mayor Beutler. "By awarding this national event to Lincoln, the Board is expressing its confidence that our community can produce a top-level experience for athletes and guests from all 50 states."
"We are very proud and pleased that the 2015 State Games of America are coming to Nebraska," said Governor Dave Heineman. "This is a major victory for our tourism industry, but it's also proof that people all across the nation have discovered that there is no place like Nebraska."
The State Games of America have been conducted biennially since 1999. All residents of the host state are eligible to participate along with participants from all other states who've earned a medal at their state games in the two years leading up to the national event. The State Games of America will take the place of the Cornhusker State Games in 2015.
"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 T. 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 Cornhusker State Games has a long-standing tradition here in Lincoln," said Jeff Maul, Executive Director of the LCVB. "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."
"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 NSC . "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, Colorado in 2009 with just over 10,000 competitors. Other host cities have included St. Louis, Missouri; Hartford, Connecticut; and San Diego, California. The 2013 State Games of America will begin July 31 in Hershey-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
During the registration process, participants will have the opportunity to discover the many attractions and entertainment options available during their visit. Lincoln activities might include a concert at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a Lincoln Saltdogs baseball game and outings to the Lincoln Children's Zoo or any of the other attractions and museums in Lincoln. Some of the day trip options could include Mahoney State Park and the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland; the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice; the Wessels Living History Farm in York; and other nearby attractions.
The fund-raising goal for the 2015 State Games of America is $800,000. Sponsor levels include Platinum ($50,000), Gold ($25,000), Silver ($10,000), Bronze ($5,000), Team ($2,500) and Player ($1,000). Contributions of any size are welcome.
For more information, visit www.SGA2015.com.