ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque is hoping a few years from now, thousands of seniors with dreams of taking home gold, will be filling up city hotels.
The city learned Monday it is one of seven finalists to host the 2019 National Senior Games, a competition for athletes 50 and older. A spokesperson for the National Senior Games Association declined to say who the other finalists are.
This year’s games in Minneapolis drew nearly 10,000 competitors from across the country. All of those athletes mean an economic boost for the community that hosts it. According to the National Senior Games Association, the games generated $36 million in direct economic impact for Cleveland in 2013.
“It’s a huge deal,” said Gilbert Montano, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry’s chief of staff. “The economic benefit would actually be very large.”
According to bid documents obtained by KRQE News 13, most of the athletic events would be hosted at the Albuquerque Convention Center or UNM’s South Campus. The opening ceremonies would be held at University Stadium.
The estimated budget to hold the games would be $4.7 million, with an estimated $2.5 million paid for by the city and the rest of the tab picked up by sponsors.
The city will present its bid to the National Senior Games Association board in January 2016 and learn whether its bid has been chosen in March 2016.
The bid already has the staunch support of at least one city councilor. Brad Winter has competed in the New Mexico Senior Olympics as a pole vaulter.