LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) announced today, after a thorough evaluation process, that Los Angeles has won the bid to host the inaugural World Urban Games in September 2019, and stage the next edition of the Games in 2021. The Games will showcase the skill, style and power of athletes from around the globe in a variety of new-generation sports competitions. A World Urban Games festival and esports program will extend the spirit of the event through a variety of music, arts, digital entertainment and cultural activities.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of NantWorks, will chair the World Urban Games L.A. Organizing Committee, which is responsible for staging the event. Jenny Mann and Rick Fox will serve as co-managing directors of the organizing committee.
“We are honored that the GAISF Council chose Los Angeles, the sports and esports capital of the nation, and we’re excited to bring youth-focused sports competitions to the community,” Soon-Shiong said. “The World Urban Games multi-sport concept brings the Olympic movement and international sports federations into this next generation of sports. Together with the GAISF, we will support the further development of sports programs to highlight the evolving youth sports landscape.”
“The World Urban Games will be the first opportunity to not only feature the world’s best athletes in urban games such as basketball, biking, skating and climbing, but also the best athletes in virtual sports such as esports,” continued Soon-Shiong. “Los Angeles is the ideal city to convene this unique, international event and we look forward to highlighting California on the world stage.”
The Los Angeles bid was one of two to make the final cut along with the Hungarian capital Budapest. The unanimous decision was made by the GAISF Council meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. GAISF Senior Vice President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli thanked both cities for their bids and congratulated Los Angeles on its successful proposal.
“The first World Urban Games will be a historic event and we are confident LA will be a great host. LA is a young, vibrant and creative city which has helped to shape youth culture and the urban sports which are the very heart of the World Urban Games” said Dr. Chiulli.
“The World Urban Games project was the vision of our late President Patrick Baumann and his hard-work and positivity are the reason we are in a position to make today’s announcement. Now we are fully focused on working with Los Angeles, the Organizing Committee and International Federations to make Patrick’s vision a reality.”
Inspired by Baumann, who sadly passed away on Oct. 13, the World Urban Games is envisioned as the ultimate celebration of new-generation sports, forged by the spirit of young athletes and designed to encourage participation in urban settings.
“The World Urban Games will be a five-day celebration featuring dynamic sports competitions with 700 of the world’s best athletes, riders and break dancers,” Chiulli continued. “The sports competition will be complemented by a music and cultural street festival to maximize community engagement.”
Organized by the relevant international federations under the auspices of GAISF, the World Urban Games will present up to 700 athletes in nine urban disciplines and sports with the top global talent competing for places on the podium. Competition will include 3x3 Basketball (FIBA), Street Skateboarding (World Skate), Bouldering (IFSC) and BMX Freestyle (UCI) which will be introduced in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as Breaking (WDSF), Parkour (FIG), Roller Freestyle (World Skate) and Freestyle Flying Disc (WFDF). In addition to these competitions, an urban sports showcase will feature up to 100 athletes in at least four other disciplines.
The organizing committee plans to stage the event near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in a central, compact location accessible by public transportation and close to freeways. A purpose-built urban park will be constructed in El Segundo in time for the inaugural event, to ensure sustainability and facilitate continued engagement with the local communities. The spirit of both the competition and the festival will reflect the best in youth-driven sports, urban culture and community engagement.
About the Global Association of the International Sports Federations (GAISF)
The Global Association of the International Sports Federations (GAISF), founded in 1967, is an association of autonomous and independent international sports federations and other international sport and event related organizations. GAISF is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It seeks to present a united voice of sport in support of the Olympic ideals and of the Olympic movement and promote sport at every level and in every corner of the world, from grassroots to elite, wherever its members have national organizations and events. The mission of GAISF is to serve and represent the common interests of all international federations and coordinate the efforts of all those who aspire to become IOC recognized and, eventually, wish to enter the Olympic program.
About the World Urban Games
Powered by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the World Urban Games will, for five days, be the beating heart for sports whose massive youth appeal has created a galaxy of stars and an army of passionate fans. The spirit of urban games is the spirit of the age: no compromise on the pursuit of perfection, creativity in performance, engagement with audiences and involvement through the opportunity to experience the various sports, respect for fellow competitors, and followers, global connectivity through digital technology and love of the lifestyle and care for the environment. The World Urban Games comprises a wide-ranging program of competitive and showcase urban sports complemented by a festival of youth-focused music, art and culture. Held in a single downtown location it takes sport to the very heart of the city and is accessible to all.