The Birmingham Organising Committee yesterday announced three new competitions venues for The World Games 2022. With that they are showcasing the city’s history and its commitment to excellence front and centre: Legion Field, Birmingham CrossPlex and Boutwell Auditorium, in addition to the previously announced Protective Stadium, are four of the 25 official venues hosting an array of sports when The World Games 2022 commences in July of next year.
“We’re excited to officially begin announcing our venues,” The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers said. “These are four of the best places to enjoy sports in our community. And by July of 2022, we will finally be able to fill all the seats in these beautiful venues again as we serve host to the first major international sporting event coming out of this pandemic. Each of these venues is a prime example of our city’s love of sport.”
Historic Legion Field, the current home of University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers football, opened in 1927 and was named after the American Legion, an organisation of American military veterans. Legion Field, seating 71,594, is no stranger to fierce competition, having hosted the Iron Bowl until 2000, the Magic City Classic, and each year of the Birmingham Bowl. That American football tradition will continue with The World Games 2022 when Legion Field plays host to Flag Football @TWG2022 presented by the NFL, featuring eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams.
Opened in April 2011, the Birmingham CrossPlex is a 750,000 square-foot multi-purpose athletic facility featuring a world-class indoor track, a 50-meter indoor Olympic swimming pool, a 5,000 square-foot meeting hall and the Bill Harris Arena, a 20,000 square-foot multipurpose space. During The Games, spectators at the CrossPlex can enjoy several different competitions, including Inline Hockey, Artistic Roller Skating, Speed Skating (indoor and outdoor), Wheelchair Rugby, Lifesaving, Finswimming and Canoe Polo.
Boutwell Auditorium, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena, was constructed in 1924 and has hosted a wide-range of events, including concerts, sporting events, banquets, galas, trade shows and more. Fans who make their way to Boutwell during The Games will see exciting martial arts action, including Sumo, Kickboxing and Muaythai.
Protective Stadium will serve as the host venue for the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony of The World Games 2022. The new $180 million Protective Stadium, which is scheduled to be completed later this year, will have a seating capacity of 47,100 and will also be the permanent home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers football team.
“Sustainability has always been one of the core values of The World Games, which is why the host cities are not required to build new venues for The Games,” said IWGA CEO Joachim Gassow. “Birmingham has excellent conditions for hosting international sports events, and these three venues, along with the new Protective Stadium and other impressive existing facilities, will be perfect stages for our world-class athletes.”
“Birmingham’s world-class, multi-sport CrossPlex and the historic Boutwell Auditorium are not only great venues, but key gathering places for our communities. These venues capture the spirit of The World Games 2022, providing opportunities for our international guests and the people of Birmingham to gather as one to celebrate athletic excellence,” Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said. “The excitement will only build over the next 18 months as the world prepares to come to Birmingham.”
The World Games 2022 Birmingham will take place 7-17 July 2022 and will generate an estimated $256 million in economic impact for the city.
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.