‘Our revenues left us with a $14 million deficit’: The World Games 2022 leaders confirm deficit
‘We have every intention to raise the associated funds and pay our vendors.’
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Leaders with The World Games 2022 confirmed the massive event suffered a multi-million dollar deficit.
On Monday, August 15, 2022, World Games CEO Nick Sellers CEO released this statement to WBRC FOX6 News:
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team at The World Games 2022 Birmingham Organizing Committee. We delivered an amazing event for $65 million, $10M under the original budget of $75M. This event is a major platform for the Summer Olympic Games. And we delivered an Olympic caliber program.
However, for many reasons, our revenues left us with a $14 million deficit. We are working with our public and private partners to close the gap as quickly as possible and satisfy all of our debts.
We have every intention to raise the associated funds and pay our vendors.
In fact, we guaranteed Mayor Woodfin and the City Council that any additional funds it contributes will go directly toward ensuring the Birmingham area vendors are paid as a part of our plan to satisfy all outstanding invoices. And we’ve made the same commitment to the Jefferson County Commission as well as satisfying our remaining invoices to our international partners. This is critical for ongoing economic development efforts.
Many factors contributed to the disappointing shortage. Due to the latest COVID spike, fewer than expected international travelers attended the games, particularly from China and Europe. That contributed to weaker-than-hoped-for ticket sales, and some open hotel room nights outside of the city’s core. The virus also delayed the Games a year, adding significantly to our costs. Finally, a challenging economy caused two large sponsors to withdraw support just weeks prior to The Games.
This was a massive undertaking. And we’ve communicated an expected budget deficit to our public and private partners since the pandemic. The challenging economy and recent spike in COVID made the deficit worse than expected.
But we are confident that our partners will stand with us and support this final investment to help us balance the budget and honor our commitments to our vendors - most of whom are local. The World Games 2022 will pay dividends for our city and state for years to come.”
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