Budapest, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. A thorough bidding process ended with Los Angeles and Budapest as the two outstanding finalists.
In November 2018, the GAISF Council began discussions with Los Angeles for a 2019 edition. After much deliberation, however, the Council decided that Budapest’s proposed sports programme was more in line with GAISF’s vision for the future of the Games.
In addition to hosting the first edition of the World Urban Games this year, Budapest has also been offered the hosting of the 2021 Games. Budapest’s willingness to step in and host the 2019 World Urban Games underscores both the city’s enthusiasm and its readiness and capability to host multi-sport events.
Budapest has become one of the major sporting capitals of Europe and has proved multiple times that it is capable of hosting great events.
Balázs Fürjes, state secretary for the development of Budapest and major sport events, said:
“I believe that our city, Budapest, will make the first edition of the World Urban Games an incredible experience for both athletes and fans. The World Urban Games is a great fit for Budapest.
“The city is steeped in history and culture and is also one of the best European places for young people to live and work. The Hungarian capital is an innovative city that is always ready for pioneering opportunities.“
GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said:
“I am delighted to announce that the World Urban Games will take place in the dynamic city of Budapest. One of the most iconic cities in Europe, Budapest will provide a perfect location for this exciting event, bringing sport to the heart of the city. We are grateful to our friends in Budapest for their enthusiasm and commitment to the World Urban Games.
“I would also like to thank Balázs Fürjes, who has already proved his outstanding leadership capabilities during the Budapest 2024 bid and the successful staging of the FINA 2017 World Championships. Without his dedication, his belief in youth engagement and his creative approach, we would not have reached an agreement so quickly. I am looking forward to seeing the development of the Games in the coming months.”
The International Olympic Committee also welcomed the partnership between GAISF and Budapest, with Director General Christophe De Kepper saying:
“Budapest has proved many times that it is a great host city for major international sport events. It’s a perfect city to launch a pioneering initiative that will positively impact the future of sport“
“The World Urban Games Budapest 2019 will be an excellent platform for showcasing 3×3 Basketball and BMX freestyle, both of which will be on the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020. It is a great opportunity to test innovations that will bring sport closer to youth.”
The finalised World Urban Games Budapest 2019 competition programme will be announced later this month.
*subject to IOC approval