Grand Rapids: ‘Sports City’ to Host National Games in 2017

Athletes sprinting across the Blue Bridge. Skateboarders weaving around Calder Plaza’s La Grande Vitesse. A lone ice skater twirling in front of Frederik Meijer Gardens’ The American Horse. A baseball game at Rosa Parks Circle.

A fast-moving, high-energy video that pairs extreme athleticism with some of Grand Rapids’ most recognizable landmarks recently kicked off a marketing campaign to announce that the city will be host to the 2017 State Games of America.

The Olympic-style event draws competitors from individual states’ gold, silver, and bronze medal winners. Currently, 30 states hold local games, with national games held biennially. Grand Rapids beat out San Diego, Lincoln, Neb., and Hampton Roads, Va. to host the games, which will take place August 3-6, 2017.

“It was a tough decision by our board, as all cities proved their ability to successfully host these games,” said Dan Duffy, President of the National Congress of State Games, in a press release. “Ultimately, the board felt that Grand Rapids offered the most compelling bid based on their successful Meijer State Games of Michigan, quality venues and the many community and local sport partnerships involved in the bid.”

Organizers expect the event to bring about $5.6 million in direct visitor spending to Grand Rapids. The city and surrounding community is well-poised to host the event thanks to successful Meijer State Games of Michigan showings and local support. Meijer State Games of Michigan Executive Director Eric Engelbarts said he’s ready to jump in and start the preparations.

“The growth and success of the Meijer State Games have prepared us to host these national games,” he said. “We will be ready to host the nation’s athletes in 2017.”

Here’s a look at the video that helped the city win the bid:

Were you inspired by the “Bring Your Game” video? What sporting events are you looking forward to seeing?

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Photo credit: Ani

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