Thousands compete in State Games of America

State Games of America in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH - Thousands of athletes are in West Michigan this week for the State Games of America. The games are being held in Michigan for the first time ever.

The games are held every other year. It's a multi-sport, Olympics-style event, featuring medal winners from the 30 states that hold games.

The West Michigan sports commission and Experience Grand Rapids worked together to bring the State Games of America to Grand Rapids.

""We have about 4,000 athletes plus their families coming into West Michigan, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, shopping in businesses spending their money here. said Eric Engelbarts, with the State Games of Michigan. "So we calculate our success on economic impact. And for this event, four days, about ten million dollars."

There are eight new sports added for this year's event. They include bocce ball, pinball, cricket and yoga. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Van Andel arena.

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