GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With 651 days left until opening ceremonies for the State Games of America, the West Michigan Sports Commission threw its kickoff party on Thursday.
Some 12,000 athletes are expected to compete in the 2017 games in venues all over West Michigan.
Eric Engelbarts, the executive director of the Meijer State Games, attended the State Games of America in Lincoln, Nebraska this summer. He said they are bigger and better, and that West Michigan has what it takes to make the event a success.
“Of course, here we always run quality sporting events, so we have our tournament directors are already set up for that,” Englebarts said. “So we’ll just look to bump it up. So we’ll use Van Andel Arena for opening ceremonies, we’ll use DeVos Place for the 12 to 13 different sports, and then we’ll find those high-quality venues throughout the city and throughout the county to host these athletes as they come in.”
The games are expected to generate between $5 and $6 million for the local economy.
Below, watch a promotional video for the games released Thursday. App users can click here to watch.