The World Games Are Coming to Birmingham

The World Games are coming to Birmingham. That has a nice ring to it, but what does that mean? What are the details and why is it important for Birmingham?    

Who is hosting the World Games in 2022?

The World Games will touchdown in Birmingham on July 7th running for 10 days and closing out on July 17th. 3,600 athletes representing over 100 nations from around the world will compete during the event, which is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors to Birmingham.  

14 community venues will play host to a wide variety of sporting events, and excitingly for Birmingham residents, our beautiful city will be in the spotlight for visitors from far and wide to see.  

What events will be at the World Games in 2022? 

34 sporting events will take place in various venues around town such as Protective Stadium, Legacy Arena, and the Birmingham Crossplex, to name a few. A quick cross-section of the events set to take place will include war, sumo, fistball, powerlifting, softball, racquetball, water skiing, jujitsu, and karate.  

 A full sports program for the World Games can be found here.

The Economic Impact of the World Games for Birmingham    

When these 500,000 visitors come to town, the estimated economic impact is $256 million – the largest of any single event in the city’s history. Food will be purchased from local food trucks and nights will be spent in our hotels. People will visit our world-class Barber Motorsports Museum and Civil Rights Museum.  

They will visit Oak Mountain State Park and Railroad Park. And to top it off, they will catch a show at the Alabama/Lyric Theatres and enjoy a beverage at one of our local breweries.  

A concrete example of the immediate economic impact of the games is that the Birmingham International Airport is working on $8M worth of necessary improvements to give our city the best first impression possible.    

While an impressive figure – the estimated $256M economic impact could be way low in my estimation.  

Birmingham as a place to live   

I truly believe folks will visit Birmingham and will want to stay.  When people visit Birmingham for the first time. I always hear:    

“This town is way better than I thought it would be.”  

“There is so much more to do here than I realized.”  

“Birmingham is so beautiful, y’all are so lucky.”  

“Your food scene is crazy good.”  

“You are so lucky to have so many good public schools.”     

If only one-tenth of one percent of the visitors move here permanently via this event, that is 500 people. If those 500 people were to get a job that pays $45,000 a year that would be a $22,500,000 annual economic impact on the city. If they stayed in Birmingham for only 10 years that is a total of $225,000,000 impact.   

Think about this another way. What if one person decided to stay in Birmingham out of the 500,000 visitors, certainly possible. Let’s say this person was an entrepreneur that starts a business that grows into a $50,000,000 annual revenue business.    

The economic impact of this event could be felt for generations. Looking deeper and more importantly, think about the cultural, diversity, and life experience benefits we will receive from these individuals.  

Is Birmingham a good place to invest in property?      

I recently asked a real estate developer, “Why are you coming so far to invest in Birmingham?” He stated there is an opportunity here, I see the value.  

He added, “Birmingham has a heartbeat. It is authentic and has a history. It is not cookie cutter and has a great foundation upon which to grow.”   

I tend to agree with him. Let’s help make The World Games as successful as possible. All our futures could benefit greatly from a successful event!  

Written by Robert Crook