UPDATE: Birmingham City Council votes to give The World Games $5M toward their $14M debt
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Birmingham City Council members voted 7-2 Tuesday to give The World Games Birmingham $5 million more to help make up a $14 million deficit.
We’re told The Games owes millions to local vendors, government and even foreign companies.
World Games CEO Nick Sellers attended the city council meeting on Tuesday morning.
The World Games asked for another $5 million from Birmingham City Council as part of their plan to pay down their deficit.
Here is a statement from Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin:
The World Games 2022 was a success on many levels. We expect a strong economic impact when numbers are finalized. There are multiple economic development leads based on The World Games. You can’t put a dollar amount on the boost to civic pride and positive coverage of Birmingham worldwide due to the games.
Let me stress, Birmingham benefitted greatly from this event. Taking the next steps to leverage the data and expertise from the Birmingham Organizing Committee while ensuring the Games and vendors close out on a positive note is critical to maintaining the momentum we have experienced in Birmingham.
This event changed the funding model for The World Games. Previous events relied almost entirely on government funding. The 2022 World Games relied heavily on private funding. Funding by sponsors at the Birmingham games outpaced all other host cities combined.
As a region, I urge our partners to join us.
How we address the current challenges will determine how Birmingham performs on the regional, national and international stage for years to come.
ORIGINAL: With the extra $5 million, councilor Darrell O’Quinn said council will have given $12 million total to the city for the World Games. He said he is not sure if the whole council is on-board and they could go into executive session, because it potentially eventually involves lawsuits.
“There’s no active litigation I’m aware of,” O’Quinn said. “But, I think some of the concerns relate to the possibility of that, so if that qualifies as a reason to allow executive session, that is something the city attorney will have to make the call on. We will see what happens.”
O’Quinn said they may or may not vote at the meeting, depending on if the council agrees.
The Jefferson County Commission has already discussed the topic and they don’t vote until September. The commission is not committing any money right now. They want to try and make sure everything else in the county is financially covered before they decide.
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