Budapest to Host World Urban Games -- Top Story Replay

(ATR) GAISF announces new host for 2019 event, after presenting Los Angeles as host last year.

(ATR) Budapest, Hungary will now host the 2019 World Urban Games, after GAISF said original host Los Angeles "had simply, a different vision," of how to run the inaugural event.

The World Urban Games will still be held in September 2019 and organized by the Global Association of International Sport Federations.

GAISF Senior Vice President Raffaele Chiulli said that Los Angeles had proposed "a street festival instead of the Urban Games concept we had in mind". This prompted GAISF to seek a new host, and revive talks with Budapest, one of the four applicant cities.

Los Angeles was chosen as the original host for the 2019 World Urban Games by GAISF in November 2019. At the time, the 2019 Games had a sport program consisting of BMX Freestyle, 3x3 basketball, flying disc, parkour, roller freestyle, sport climbing, and skateboarding. GAISF said in its release announcing Budapest as the new host that "Budapest’s proposed sports program was more in line with GAISF’s vision" of the event.

"I think [Los Angeles] had simply a different vision in terms of the number of sport competition versus the [showcase sports] and it is actually their legitimate choice," Chiulli said on a media conference call.

"But we have the legitimate right to ensure our vision is fully invested with the host city vision."

At no point did GAISF sign a hosting contract with Los Angeles, Chiulli said, and immediately upon discussing hosting discussions with Budapest GAISF "found a synergy, found a vision," with Hungarian counterparts.Chiulli said that GAISF had shortlisted both Budapest and Los Angeles over the two other applicant cities Barcelona and Tokyo.

"As you know for multi sport event the bidding process has changed and its much more of a dialogue and consultation," Chiulli said of the fluidity of discussions. "We are aiming at creating sustainable long lasting relationship with all cities that showed interest in our concept in the World Urban Games."

Budapest will also receive hosting rights to the 2021 edition of the World Urban Games, should the first event prove a success. A preliminary estimate for a budget for the 2019 World Urban Games is $7 million, according to Chiulli.

The sport program for Budapest 2019 has not been finalized, but GAISF said in a release it will include "sports competitions, showcases and demonstrations that fully embrace music, dance and urban culture".

"The Urban development plan being presented [for the Games], we wanted to make sure there was not any interruption of city traffic or operation," Chiulli said of how the World Urban Games will run.

"We wanted the physical component to be a key element, but also the cost to have been contained when staging the competition, Also, we wanted the right number of athletes and an element of global presence because we are talking about the World Urban Games."

Chiulli said that GAISF was not concerned that the 2019 World Urban Games could overlap with the 2019 Association of National Olympic Committees inaugural World Beach Games. He said that ANOC and GAISF have signed an agreement to jointly administer the 2021 World Beach Games.

"Budapest is very much dedicated to this inaugural games and I am pretty sure it will be excellent," Attila Mizsér, Hungarian modern pentathlete and 1988 Olympic champion, said on the conference call.

"Budapest is popular with the young generation. It is an intensely developing city and the World Urban Games is an excellent multi-sport event through which we can deliver a new sport festival to the young people."

Homepage photo: GAISF

Written by Aaron Bauer

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