Los Angeles finalizes bid to host inaugural World Urban Games
The city of Los Angeles earns the bid to host an inaugural World Urban Games, an event powered by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) that organize a variety of new-generation sports competitions next year. The city plans to host a World Urban Games festival that will offer various types of entertainment for a big sporting event, including music, arts, cultural activities and more.
The event will take place in September 2019.
Los Angeles, one of the major cities to make the cut in a bid to World Urban Games along with the Hungarian capital Budapest, would receive the hosting right to the 2021 Games if the 2019 event reaches a higher milestone. The games will be located near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in El Segundo. Fans can take public transportation or drive on the freeways to the games.
The Lausanne, Switzerland-based organization estimates that untraditional sports competitions, ranging from street skateboarding, three-on-three basketball, BMX freestyle cycling to bouldering (rock climbing), breaking dancing, freestyle flying disc, and roller freestyle may attract 700 athletes, 300 referees and 20,000 spectators to the five-day event next September.
“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,” Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a chairman of the World Urban Games L.A. Organizing Committee who is responsible for overseeing an event, said in a statement.
Biotechnology entrepreneur and part-time owner of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers Soon-Shiong plans to finance the event to support the development of sports programs. He is also the owner of the Los Angeles Times.
Partnerships have been established between GAISF and the International Olympics Committee with a common interest and objective: promoting a unique sporting event to young audiences.
Patrick Baumann, a top International Olympic Committee executive who sadly passed away unexpectedly last month, has initially brought the urban game’s concept to an innovative, fun and accessible multi-sport event. He developed a relationship and worked collaboratively with Soon-Shiong and retired basketball player Rick Fox who founded an esports franchise called Echo Fox.
Soon-Shiong developed a growing interest in the esports business, thus he invested in Daybreak Game Co., a developer, and publisher of multi-player online games. He plans to build new arenas within L.A. Times Center that will host community forums and esports competition. The World Urban Games also plan to host e-sports competitions at the venue in the surrounding L.A. area.
L.A. 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,” GAISF’s Senior Vice President Raffaele Chiulli said in a statement.
El Segundo officials have a full backing for the World Urban Games campaign in their city. Municipal leaders will turn over the city’s golf course, soccer fields and shut down the streets for the event near the L.A. Times, according to a report. It remains to be seen whether the city provides additional financial support available for the facilities and games.
“This came together rather quickly and we were impressed by the magnitude of the idea,” El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles told the L.A. newspaper.
Photo Source: GAISF