Los Angeles Awarded Inaugural Urban Games

(ATR) Nine years ahead of the 2028 Olympics, the GAISF Urban Games will come to Los Angeles.

(ATR) Los Angeles will host the 2019 World Urban Games, and should the event prove successful a second edition in 2021.

The Global Association of International Sports Federations awarded the event today during its council meeting ahead of the IF Forum in Lausanne. Los Angeles bid for the event against Budapest, Hungary.

Los Angeles Times executive chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong will chair the organizing committee for the event. Soon-Shiong bought the LA Times last year and has begun an aggressive expansion for the paper.

El Segundo, where the new LA Times headquarters is located, will be the location of the first Urban Park for the event. GAISF said in a statement that four cities had been in original consideration for the event, which was launched at the 2018 SportAccord Convention.

"The Games send a clear signal that GAISF remains determined to provide a global showcase for member federations whose sports – or their derivatives – require additional critical mass to gain public and media attention," GAISF said in a statement.

Around 700 athletes will participate in the first ever Urban Games, which features a mix of Olympic and non-Olympic events, according to GAISF. BMX Freestyle, 3x3 basketball, sport climbing, and skateboarding will all feature at the World Urban Games before making Olympic debuts at Tokyo 2020. The sport program is rounded out by parkour, flying disc, and roller freestyle.

The program for the next edition could have between 12 and 15 sports, according to Jose Perurena,member of the IOC, and president of the International World Games Association, who spoke withAround the Rings.

Only four sports would potentially overlap between the 2021 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama and a potential 2021 Urban Games in Los Angeles, Perurena said. He is confident the federations "will agree" to the arrangement, as the World Games will have over 5,000 athletes, while the Urban Games will have much less.

"After the success of the Urban Park in Buenos Aires, the Urban Games, along with other games, [will serve] as a 'laboratory' for the future," Perurena said.

The Urban Games will be the first GAISF event awarded since the death of its president Patrick Baumann last month.

"I would like to thank the International Federations who have engaged so enthusiastically with the project and who, along with the city, will be delivering the World Urban Games in just 10 months," Raffaele Chiulli, GAISF Senior Vice President, said in a statement.

"The World Urban Games project was the vision of our late President Patrick Baumann and his hard-work and positivity are the reason we are in a position to make today’s announcement. Now we are fully focused on working with the city of Los Angeles, the Organizing Committee and International Federations to make Patrick’s vision a reality."

The meeting of the GAISF Council was chaired by interim president Chiulli, following the death of Baumann.At the 2019 SportAccord Convention there will be an process to appoint the next President for two years. The presidency rotates between the heads of the Winter Olympic federations, Summer Olympic federations, and non-IOC recognized federations.

The rotation was set to start in 2020, but was moved forward a year due to Baumann's death.

Written by Aaron Bauer and Miguel Hernandez

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