|Map of Fairfax County and neighboring jurisdictions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Virginia Leaders, Sports Figures and Business Offer Support for World Police & Fire Games
FAIRFAX, VA (May 21) – Let the Games Begin! With 400 days to go until 12,000 public safety athletes kick-off the World Police and Fire Games, Fairfax 2015, the organizing committee for the Games, today announced the establishment of its Honorary Board, new funding commitments totaling $5 million from public and private sources, and its ceremonial venues for the Games.
The World Police and Fire Games are coming to the National Capital Region for ten full days of competition beginning . The courage and competiveness of public safety (police, fire and other first responders) will be on-display at one of the largest multi-sport events in the world. Governor Terry McAuliffe announced he will chair the Games’ Honorary Board. Other prominent national, regional and local leaders from the worlds of politics, business and sports have also joined Fairfax 2015 to serve as members of the organization’s Honorary Board in support of next summer’s World Police and Fire Games. (Full list of Honorary Board attached.)
Fairfax County tourism and hospitality officials project that Games visitors and activities will have a primary economic impact in the range of $60 million to $80 million. The budget to pull-off the massive 60 sport Olympic-style event is estimated at $20 million according to Fairfax 2015 (www.fairfax2015.com).
New funding to support the effort has been secured from seven new official corporate partners and from Fairfax County, who recently approved $2 million in funding for Fairfax 2015 supplementing its prior funding and in-kind contributions. The Governor has also said the Games can count on the Commonwealth of Virginia being “all in”. He has requested funding in this fiscal year budget and has designated Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran to further facilitate state efforts.
At a press conference at Fairfax County Fire Station 42 near Wolf Trap National Park, site of the Closing Ceremonies on -5 weekend next year, a contingent of public officials and business executives committed their time and resources to the Games.
“I am excited to serve as Chairman of these Fairfax 2015 Olympic-style games and to help support and honor the first responders and public safety heroes who have given of their service and sometimes their lives to protect us,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “If there is one thing I have learned supporting law enforcement and fire organizations over my years in public service, it’s that police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and firefighters are intensely competitive. Fairfax 2015 will showcase these great athletes and offer a great boost to the Commonwealth’s tourism industry. Virginia and Fairfax County are the perfect host for this great event and we are ready to let the games begin.”
Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, welcomed attendees and said Games visitors are expected from over 70 countries and athletes will compete at 53 venues not only in Fairfax County but across the National Capital Region. She revealed that Reston Town Center will serve as the Athletes Village, RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. will be home to the opening ceremonies and that nearby Wolf Trap will be an ideal host to the closing ceremonies 4th of July weekend. Delegates from the World Police & Fire Games Federation were in Fairfax last month to tour both ceremonial and competition venues. Competition venues are being secured and will soon be announced.
“Fairfax County is honored to host the Fairfax 2015 Games,” said Bulova. “I am so proud of our public safety officers. In particular, thanks to Police Chief Edwin Roessler, Jr., Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Jr. and Sheriff Stacey Kincaid for working tirelessly behind the scenes to help plan and promote the Games as we draw closer to the event.
Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, followed Bulova in committing business community support. “We believe these Games will showcase what is best about doing business here in Fairfax County,” said Corcoran. “People know about our highly educated and well-trained workforce, major corporations who have chosen Fairfax for headquarters operations and our technology infrastructure.”
“Today, we are talking about the quality of life in Fairfax County,” he added “We appreciate the Governor’s business acumen as Honorary Chair. I want to stress Fairfax 2015 is also about economic development.”
Local businesses and destinations will certainly benefit from Games visitors – hotels, restaurants, stores, shopping centers, service stations, movie theaters – you name it, the impact will be felt. Venues and competition hosts will also enjoy benefits including ice rinks, ball fields, bowling alleys and indoor arenas or fields. Historical landmarks will see admission fees.
Fairfax 2015 also unveiled a list of seven corporate sponsors who have committed over $2 million to date. This includes Keolis, Pierce, SAIC, Scott Safety, Cardinal Bank, Cordia Partners, and Venable. Rockville-based Keolis America operates the Virginia Railway Express. “As a world leader in passenger rail and transit, Keolis understands and appreciates the vital role that first responders play to ensure the safety of our customers and the community in an emergency situation,” said Steve H. Townsend, CEO of Keolis America. “Speaking on behalf of the more than 4,500 Keolis employees in North America, we are pleased and honored to pay tribute to these brave men and women by becoming a major sponsor of the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games.”
Bill Knight, CEO of Fairfax 2015, who has executive experience with the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, World Cup USA and other major events also spoke at the press event. “We are making great progress in the planning and coordination of the Games which are 400 days from today,” he said. “The days will fly-by, so it is critical that individual citizens and business leaders step-up today, embrace the World Police and Fire Games and help accelerate the momentum we are currently enjoying. Whether joining the effort as a sponsor, a volunteer, a member of our merchant program or simply a fan, these Games will be an amazing experience for this region and our communities.”
For additional information on the World Police and Fire Games, visit fairfax2015.com or call (202) 480-WPFG (9734).
About Fairfax 2015 / World Police & Fire Games
The World Police & Fire Games is one of the largest multi-sport, multi-venue events in the world. It draws more than 12,000 athletes from police, fire and other public safety agencies representing 70 countries competing in 1,600 medal events across 61 sports. Fairfax 2015 is a nonprofit 01(c)3 corporation established to organize, manage and operate all activities related to the 2015 Games. Hosted by Fairfax County, Virginia and held throughout the National Capital Region from to , the Games strive to inspire, celebrate and honor our public safety officials.