Birmingham City Council providing $5 million to World Games to help close deficit

B'ham city council votes to give World Games $5 million
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The World Games are over but there are still plenty of debts left to pay. The deficit adds up to $14million. The World Games Organizing Committee is now asking for help in closing their gap.

“Our corporate community stepped up with over $27 million in sponsorships. We are asking them to do more,” said World Games CEO Nick Sellers.

Private companies are not the only ones the organizing committee are asking for additional funds. On Tuesday the World Games leaders requested $5 million from the city, and in turn, the taxpayer. The organizing committee says the city will get things in return.

“This additional investment that we are requesting will provide ongoing value as the organizing committee shares all of the data and information and best practices that you have heard about today,” said Sellers.

The World Games leaders believe the perception-altering event has still done more good than bad. The team believes the coming economic impact numbers will show that. Still, they stress these large events typically don’t make a profit.

“It is hard to put a price on what that would mean for our future, but as a point of reference, according to a recent national news article, no city in the modern era has ever profited from hosting a Summer Olympic Games since the 1984 Olympics.”

While frustrated by the request for additional funds, the city council wants to make the community whole. Still many on the council say they were left in the dark about how well the games were doing financially.

“Somebody knew ahead of time that we didn’t raise enough money to put the World Games on but the body that has to approve the excess spending is us. And we we were left in the darkest of dark,” said District Three Councilor Valerie Abbott.

Both Abbott and Councilor Carol Clarke voted against the additional investment.

World Games CEO Nick Sellers apologized in the meeting to the council. He says both him, and the committee should have communicated with the council better, but still believes the city will benefit from further investment.


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