Birmingham City Council providing $5 million to World Games to help close deficit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The World Games are over, but there are still many debts to be paid. The deficit totals $14 million. The World Games Organizing Committee is now asking for help to fill this gap.

“Our corporate community has grown with over $27 million in sponsorships. We urge them to do more,” said Nick Sellers, CEO of World Games.

Private companies aren’t the only ones the organizing committee is asking for additional funding. On Tuesday, those responsible for the World Games demanded 5 million dollars from the city and thus from the taxpayer. The organizing committee says the city will get something in return.

“This additional investment that we are asking for will represent enduring value as the organizing committee shares all of the data and information and best practices that you have heard about today,” Sellers said.

World Games leaders believe the mind-altering event still did more good than bad. The team believes the coming economic impact figures will show this. However, they emphasize that these major events are usually not profitable.

“It’s hard to quantify what that would mean for our future, but according to a recent national news article, no city in modern times has benefited from hosting Summer Olympics since the 1984 Olympia.”

The City Council, while frustrated by the request for additional funding, wants to complete the community. Still, many on the council say they have been left in the dark about how well the Games are doing financially.

“Someone knew in advance that we didn’t raise enough money to host the World Games, but the body that has to approve the excessive spending is us. And we were left in the dark of darkness,” said Valerie Abbott, District 3 councilwoman.

Both Abbott and council member Carol Clarke voted against the additional investment.

World Games CEO Nick Sellers apologized to the council at the meeting. He says both he and the committee should have communicated better with the council, but still believes the city will benefit from further investment.


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