GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MID-HUDSON VALLEY TO HOST 2009 EMPIRE STATE GAMES
STATE OF NEW YORK
CONTACT: Christine Anderson
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES MID-HUDSON VALLEY TO HOST
Governor Eliot Spitzer today announced that the 32nd Hugh L. Carey Empire State Games will be held in Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties from July 22 to July 26, 2009. The Empire State Games are one of the largest amateur athletic programs in the nation. The games are now returning to the Mid-Hudson Valley, where they were first held in 2005.
The Empire Games feature nearly 6,000 of New York’s finest athletes participating in 28 different Olympic-style sports. The five-day event is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors to the region and generate an economic impact of more than $12 million. The competitions and programs for the summer games will be primarily held at locations in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and New Paltz.
“The Empire State Games provide an amazing opportunity for our state’s young people to showcase their athletic abilities and compete against their peers,” said Governor Spitzer. “I am confident that the 2009 event in Mid-Hudson Valley will be rewarding to the athletes, inspiring for their fans and economically beneficial to the host communities.”
Senator Mary Lou Rath, Chair of the Senate Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development Committee, said: "I am aware of the significant impact a sporting event can have. I applaud the Empire State Games and the creative opportunities they provide for our young people."
Carol Ash, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said: “For over 30 years, the Empire State Games have energized generations of young, amateur athletes to challenge themselves and strive for excellence through quality competition. The thousands of athletes who participate each year are an inspiration to all New Yorkers seeking a healthy lifestyle. We are delighted that the majestic Mid-Hudson Valley, with its quality sports facilities and outstanding recreational opportunities, will once again host the Summer Games.”
Events for the summer games will include men’s and women’s basketball, tennis, boxing, volleyball, softball, baseball, ice hockey, diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, weight lifting, gymnastics, track & field, soccer, sailing, cycling, canoe/kayak, lacrosse, judo, archery, wrestling, bowling, field hockey, fencing, shooting and rowing.
The Empire State Games is a program of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, sponsored in part by the New York Lottery. The Empire State Games were the first of its kind in the nation when established in 1978 by Governor Hugh L. Carey. The games now encompass summer and winter sports, as well as competitions for seniors and the physically challenged. More than 125,000 athletes have participated in the summer games, and they have become the model for 42 other states.
Cities interested in hosting the Games submit a proposal for review by the State Parks Empire State Games office. Criteria include accessibility from other points in the state, ability to house thousands of athletes, availability of hotel accommodations for families and visitors, suitable athletic venues, access to medical facilities, and the commitment and support of a sizeable volunteer base from the local organizing committee and sponsors.
Through the years, many athletes have been part of the Games and moved on to national, international and Olympic competition. Games’ alumni include world champions, Olympic gold medalists, college and high school All-Americans, professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, as well as figure skaters, skiers, soccer players and many more.
The 2008 Summer Games will be held in Binghamton, July 23-27. Additional information about the Empire State Games and its programs is available at www.empirestategames.org.