The Association of National Olympic Committees on Friday unanimously confirmed San Diego’s bid to host the first World Beach Games, with the slogan “Make Waves.”
Even if San Diego never wins a Super Bowl or World Series, it can boast being the first host of a world sporting event drawing nearly 200 nations at a cost of $150 million.
The 10-day event starting Sept. 27, 2017, will formally be awarded to San Diego after a vote Friday at the group’s General Assembly in Washington, D.C.
“San Diego will be the only candidate put forward,” said Inside the Games, which earlier called San Diego the heavy favorite over Sarasota, Florida, as well as Dubai, Sochi and an unnamed city in China.
Vincent Mudd, head of the San Diego bid group, said Thursday: “While very excited by the prospect of winning, and I love the positive energy we are receiving in D.C., technically we have not won the final award yet.”
But after taking the first rounds, he told Times of San Diego, “it is looking very positive.”
He said he would present San Diego’s case at 10 a.m. Friday (7 a.m. Pacific), “and the General Assembly will affirm or reject.” He then would be free to provide more details on the event, which has launched a Facebook page.
As many as 22 sports will be contested, including triathlon, skateboarding, surfing and wall climbing — plus beach versions of soccer, track and field, modern pentathlon, handball, American flag football, jet skiing and paragliding. Three-on-three basketball, too.
Esports (video games) may be part of the mix because of the presence of Sony USA in San Diego.
San Diego was awarded hosting rights at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting, the site said. San Diego organizers this month hosted a three-day site visit from ANOC leaders.
“The news can be interpreted as a continuation of United States’ recovering presence in the Olympic Movement, something also illustrated by this week’s Assembly here in the U.S. capital,” the site reported.
San Diego gave a detailed presentation Wednesday, confirming a budget of $150 million for the Games, said Inside the Games. Private donations were being solicited, but ANOC will kick in $500,000 this year and $400,000 in 2016 for planning the 2017 event.
“Our mission is to use the WBG event and social media/digital engagement platform to secure our region’s position as one of the most vibrant cosmopolitan cities in the world, where quality of life and opportunity abound, where diversity is celebrated and where innovation is ingrained in the fiber of our community.
“Through this effort, we aim to attract more opportunities leading to growth and prosperity for our region.”
Other letters of support:
- From Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on July 27, 2015
- From Bill Evans of San Diego Tourism Marketing District on Oct. 8, 2015
- From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 9, 2015
Letters of support for San Diego’s bid were filed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the San Diego Tourism Marketing District, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The Exploratory Foundation, led by Mudd, is a 510(c)(3) nonprofit he founded in 2007. Mudd also is chairman of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
The group failed to have San Diego named a U.S. bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, but “the exposure brought to San Diego … gained the attention of The Association of National Olympic Committees and fueled the region’s competitive position in the current bid for the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games.”
According to a November 2014 Reuters report, the Olympic Council of Asia introduced the Asian Beach Games in 2008 — “partly as a way to modernize major multisports events but also for countries that could not afford to host bigger international events like the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, Inside the Games reporter Nick Butler is covering the ANOC General Assembly via live tweets:
— Nick Butler (@NickJMButler) October 29, 2015