Olympics coming to Greensboro

Greensboro to host 2009 Summer National Junior Olympic Championships

GREENSBORO, NC – The Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T SU) has been selected as the site for the 2009 Summer National Junior Olympic Championships. Over 7,000 athletes from across the United States will gather in Greensboro to compete in one of the largest youth sporting events ever to be held here.

The event will be held in late July 2009 for six days with more than 11,000 people expected to attend. “This is one of the best and largest track and field events any city could hope to host. We estimate the economic impact to be almost $17 million – which will rank this sporting event right up at the top of the most important events Greensboro has ever hosted,” explains Henri Fourrier, President and CEO of the Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Fourrier and others from Greensboro presented a customized bid to the selection committee at their annual meeting. The Greensboro contingent bid on three specific events in hopes of securing at least one in the next few years.

“We were delighted and very excited that Greensboro was selected for the Junior Olympics event – this is the top prize for any city. It will certainly raise the awareness of Greensboro as a destination for track and field events,” according to Fourrier. Greensboro has hosted several track and field events since the track at NC A&T State University opened in 2003.

Mr. Lionel Leach, chair of the National Youth Committee, commented that, “this is one of the best facilities on the East Coast and we look forward to holding the Junior Olympics in Greensboro.” The location of the track on the NC A&T SU campus is appealing to event coordinators due to the large number of hotels and restaurants within a 10 mile radius. More than 80% of the attendees will be traveling more than 250 miles and are expected to stay in Greensboro hotels for a minimum of four nights. Almost 14,000 hotel room nights will be booked for the event.

The Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Greensboro Sports Commission work together to present Greensboro as a major destination for sporting events, particularly youth-oriented ones. The economic impact of visitor spending in Guilford County in 2006 was over $1 billion with 13,000 people employed in the hospitality industry.