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April 25, 2017

West Michigan Hosts 2017 State Games of America in 100 Days, Drawing 12,000+ athletes and 25,000 Attendees for Estimated Impact $10M

Athletes from 42 States plus Canada Already Registered to Participate in 2017 Games Featuring 48 Sports in 60 Events at 35 Venues

Grand Rapids, Mich., April 25, 2017 – In just 100 days, 12,000 athletes from 50 states plus Canada will descend upon West Michigan to participate in the State Games of America, Aug. 3-6. Already, athletes from 42 states plus Ontario have registered to participate in the 60 events showcasing 48 sports at 35 venues across West Michigan – from beach wrestling in North Muskegon, to sporting clay shooting in Caledonia, to golf in Cedar Springs and everything in between.
 
“We are ready and excited to host the nation’s top athletes in one of America’s largest multi-sport competitions right in our backyard,” said Eric Engelbarts, executive director of the Meijer State Games of Michigan and event director of the 2017 State Games of America. “This journey began in 2014 when we pitched the National Congress of State Games on why Grand Rapids should host this event, and now we’re on the brink of welcoming thousands of athletes to compete in venues across the region.”
 
The State Games of America is a biennial Olympic-style event featuring competition between State Games medal winners (gold, silver, and bronze) from the 30 states who conduct or organize statewide sports festivals known as State Games. The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC), Experience Grand Rapids and Meijer State Games of Michigan partnered to bid on and host the 2017 State Games of America, beating San Diego; Lincoln, Neb. and Hampton Roads, Va. The 2015 State Games of America was held in Lincoln. Other host cities have included St. Louis, Colorado Springs and San Diego. Grand Rapids is the first Michigan city to host a State Games of America.
 
“Grand Rapids offered a very compelling bid based on its successful Meijer State Games of Michigan and its many community and local sports partnerships,” said Dan Duffy, president of the National Congress of State Games. “We look forward to bringing this national event to Michigan and seeing Grand Rapids put its mark on the State Games of America.”
 
State Games of America in Numbers
Registration is open for 60 events in 48 sports (see full lineup), and athletes have already registered from 42 states plus Ontario, Canada. Planners anticipate athletes will represent every state by the time registration closes.

The State Games of America will operate in place of the annual Meijer State Games of Michigan - Summer Games, yet it will have a much larger footprint than the State Games. The following data demonstrates the scale of the State Games of America:

  • 25,000 attendees, including athlete families
  • 12,000 athletes (4,000 from out of state), with an estimated 60 percent between 10 and 19 years old
  • 5,500 hotel rooms booked at 30 partner hotels from Kalamazoo to Big Rapids
  • 1,000-plus volunteers
  • 48 sports in 60 events, including popular events in figure skating (the State Games of America events also serve as the U.S. Figure Skating National Competition), pickleball and swimming
  • 35 venues across West Michigan, including
    • DeVos Place hosting 13-plus sports in addition to Athlete Village
    • Van Andel Arena, also hosting the Opening Ceremony Aug. 4
    • Other venues across West Michigan, from Muskegon and Holland on the west side, to Caledonia on the southeast side, to Cedar Springs and Sparta to the north
  • $10 million in estimated economic impact from direct visitor spending

 
“While participants will vie to win gold, silver and bronze medals, all of West Michigan wins with full hotel rooms, restaurants and other businesses at capacity,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the WMSC. “Our community will be amazed to see the sheer size and scope of the games as we roll out the red carpet to host this premier event while showcasing all West Michigan has to offer.”
 
Participation Opportunities
There are many ways to participate in the State Games of America for both individuals and businesses.
 
Athletes
While most out-of-state athletes must qualify by winning gold, silver or bronze medals in their respective State Games, all Michigan athletes are eligible to compete without first qualifying in a State Games event. Athletes can click on the respective sports at stategamesofamerica.com/sportlisting2017 for registration fees and deadlines, which vary per event. For complete eligibility information, visit stategamesofamerica.com/eligibility.
 
Spectators
Spectator opportunities abound, from watching individual sporting events to attending the Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at Van Andel Arena, featuring the Parade of Athletes, a laser show, and a headliner entertainment act to be announced at a later date. This ticketed event is expected to sell out, and tickets can be purchased online. For information on purchasing spectator tickets to sports venues and special events, visit stategamesofamerica.com/admissions.
 
Sponsors/Vendors
Sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels, from Supporting to Titanium, in addition to customized opportunities. For more information about sponsorships, contact Eric Engelbarts at eengelbarts@stategamesofmichigan.com. Current sponsors include Meijer (Titanium); Lake Michigan Credit Union (Platinum); DeVos Place, Fox Motors, Metro Health, SMG, Subway and Van Andel Arena (Gold); Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Liberty University, MyWay Mobile Storage and Pure Michigan (Silver); and Millennia Technologies, MSA Fieldhouse, Peppino’s Pizzeria, SOS Rehydrate and Warner Norcross & Judd (Bronze). Vendor opportunities also exist, offering logo recognition, promotional material placement in athlete bags and a booth at the DeVos Place Exhibit Hall for the event duration. Contact Justin Ewald at jewald@stategamesofmichigan.com for vendor information.

Volunteers
Approximately 1,000 volunteers are needed to support the State Games of America, with opportunities to participate in tasks such as athlete check-in, Opening Ceremony and meal delivery, in addition to staffing athletic events (some sports have their own recruitment process). Visit stategamesofamerica.com/volunteer for volunteer information and to register.


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About the West Michigan Sports Commission
The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to make a positive impact on the region’s economy and quality of life. Celebrating 10 years since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked 568 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 880,000 athletes and visitors, generating $240 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit westmisports.com and Facebook.com/WestMichiganSportsCommission and follow @WestMiSports.
 
About the Meijer State Games of Michigan
Modeled after the Olympics, the Meijer State Games of Michigan welcomes athletes regardless of age or ability level and embodies the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living among residents of Michigan. A signature event of the West Michigan Sports Commission, the Meijer State Games of Michigan is a grassroots organization that relies on the dedication of thousands of volunteers and the support of corporate partners. For more information, visit stategamesofmichigan.com.
 
About the National Congress of State Games/State Games of America
The National Congress of State Games (NCSG) is a membership organization comprised of 30 State Games organizations and a member of the United States Olympic Committee's Multi Sport Organizational Council. The NCSG is the rights holder of the State Games of America, an Olympic-style event featuring competition between State Games medal winners (gold, silver, bronze) from across the nation. The mission of the NCSG is to support State Games member organizations in the promotion of health, fitness and character building through Olympic-style competitions and physical activities. For more information, visit stategames.org.


The NCSG is also the rights holder of the State Games of America, an Olympic-style event featuring competition between State Games medal winners (gold, silver, bronze) from across the nation.

 


PAST NEWS ITEMS:

March 17, 2016 Officials with the West Michigan Sports Commission and the Meijer State Games of Michigan released the sports lineup and list of venues for the 2017 State Games of America. The 2017 Games will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 3-6. Sports and venues are subject to change as the State Games of America dates approach. Read more...

October 22, 2015 Officials with the West Michigan Sports Commission held a campaign kickoff party today to premiere the 2017 State Games of America promotional video, Bring Your Game. The video release marks the start of a national marketing campaign for the 2017 State Games of America that will be held in Grand Rapids, Mich. August 3-6, 2017. The video was produced by Antix Creative. Read more...

September 28, 2015 - The Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) has announced its 2015 State Games Athletes of the Year, including BMX and mountain biker Clay Clapp, 15, of Omaha, NE; wrestler Josh Majerus, 28, of Genoa, NE; Fencer Amanda Bush, 33, of Greenwood, NE and muzzleloader Sandy Gesch, 65, of Lincoln, NE. Read more...

August 2, 2015 - The largest national State Games of America on record wrapped up weekend competition, bidding farewell to more than 15,000 athletes from 47 states. Sunday action kicked off early with a 25, 50 and 100-mile cycling tour northwest of Lincoln, skydiving in Weeping Water and a triathlon at Holmes Lake. A high point of the Games, 1968 Olympic track and field athlete Carol Frost set new American records (70-74 age group) in shot put and discus. Read more...

July 30, 2015 - Executive Director of the Nebraska Sports Council, Dave Mlnarik, announced that the United States Army Golden Knights parachute team will not perform at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2015 State Games of America (SGA). The Golden Knights were scheduled to skydive into Memorial Stadium on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus during the event on Friday, July 31. Read more...

July 22, 2015 - Competition in volleyball, pocket billiards and some shooting sports will get underway this weekend at the 2015 State Games of America in and around Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska. More than 100 adult volleyball teams will begin play at indoor sites throughout Lincoln starting Saturday, July 25. Volleyball competition will continue through August 2. Read more...

July 17, 2015 - The 2015 State Games of America has exceeded 14,500 entries for the first time in the history of the event. Registration remains open for many events at SGA2015.com. Some sports allow onsite entry as well. Competition in most events begins July 28 at sites in and around Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and concludes Aug. 2. The 2015 SGA also features more sports than any previous SGA competition, with 67. Read more...