Commission wins bid for State Games of America


The annual Meijer State Games of Michigan — Winter Games begin Friday with an athlete celebration at Van Andel Arena. Courtesy

A regional nonprofit sports commission has reached one of its goals.

State Games of America

The West Michigan Sports Commission said today that Grand Rapids has been selected to host the 2017 State Games of America.

The National Congress of State Games held its annual symposium at the Amway Grand Plaza this week, where it heard from more than 30 state game organizations.

The selection is pending contractual obligations from both parties.

The Olympic-style games are held biennially, with the 2015 games to be held in July and August in Lincoln, Neb. The competitors are made up of medal winners from 31 state games from across the country.

The Grand Rapids-based games will be held Aug. 3-6, 2017.

“Our community continually supports public-private partnerships, which helped form the West Michigan Sports Commission and our success in promoting sports tourism,” said Mike Guswiler, president, West Michigan Sports Commission. “This support is also reflected in our successful Meijer State Games of Michigan, which contributed to the NCSG board’s decision and trust in our ability to host a successful State Games of America in 2017.”

Competing cities

Grand Rapids beat out several cities to host the games, including San Diego and Hampton Roads, Va.

“It was a tough decision by our board, as all cities proved their ability to successfully host these games,” said Dan Duffy, president, National Congress of State Games. “Ultimately, the board felt that Grand Rapids offered the most compelling bid, based on their successful Meijer State Games of Michigan and the many community and local sport partnerships involved in the bid.”

State Games experience

The commission produces the annual Meijer State Games of Michigan during the winter and summer in the Grand Rapids region.

“I am very excited to begin planning for the 2017 State Games of America,” said Eric Engelbarts, executive director, Meijer State Games of Michigan. “Our growth and success of the Meijer State Games have prepared us to host these national games. I am thankful for the corporate and sport tournament committee support that have made our state games what they are. We will be ready to host the nation’s athletes in 2017.”

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