Marquette to host Meijer State Games

MARQUETTE — The city of Marquette has been selected as a host site for the 2022 Meijer State Games of Michigan — Winter Games.

Announced by the Michigan Sports Alliance on Monday, the games will take place in February 2022 with Travel Marquette serving as the host organization.

“We are thrilled to host the February 2022 Meijer State Games of Michigan — Winter Games and be part of such an incredible sporting tradition within our state,” Travel Marquette Executive Director Susan Estler said in a news release. “The Upper Peninsula’s landscape has long been celebrated for its diverse offering of outdoor adventure, and we look forward to safely welcoming athletes from across the state to share in this uniquely Michigan experience.”

Bringing the games to Marquette was a collaborative effort between Travel Marquette, the Great Lakes Sports Commission, the Michigan Sports Alliance and MSGOM, organizers said.

The Meijer State Games of Michigan were first held in 2010 as a summer edition, which drew over 3,500 athletes from across the state to participate in 15 different sports.

A winter variation of the games was added in 2014 with 12 sports and over 1,600 athletes participating, turning it into a bi-annual event. Since its inception in 2010, the games — traditionally held in Grand Rapids — have hosted more than 65,000 athletes and have had a $25 million impact on the state’s economy.

Participation in the games is open to everyone, organizers said.

“The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event that welcomes athletes, regardless of age or ability level and embodies the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living among Michigan residents,” the release states.

The Grand Rapids edition of the winter games features sports such as archery, basketball, bowling, cross-country skiing, darts, disc golf, fat-tire biking, fencing, karate, ninja, shooting sports, swimming and wrestling.

Marquette’s inaugural event will feature cross- country skiing, curling, figure skating, natural luge, hockey, ski and snowboard, and ski jumping. The competitions will be hosted by local organizations, including the Ishpeming Ski Club, the Marquette Curling Club, the Marquette Figure Skating Club, the Upper Peninsula Luge Club, Marquette Junior Hockey, Marquette Mountain and Suicide Hill Ski Bowl.

Marquette was chosen to be a host site alongside the traditional Grand Rapids games due in part to its ability to host a more traditional lineup of winter sports.

“We always enjoy partnering with different communities across the state and Marquette was the perfect choice for our upcoming Winter Games,” Meijer State Games of Michigan Executive Director Eric Engelbarts II said in the release. “We are excited to showcase the very best of Michigan’s classic winter sports and highlight why the Upper Peninsula is famed for its outdoor adventure.”

Marquette will not replace the Grand Rapids event, but rather be an addition to the statewide sporting spectacle.

While the city of Marquette has been named as the official host city, some events are likely to take place in the greater Marquette area.

The games will also feature an opening ceremony to kick off the weekend. Much like the Olympics, the ceremony typically includes a parade of athletes, a torch lighting and other entertainment.

Michigan is one of 28 states that host Olympic-like events under the National Congress of State Games.

Three states –Ohio, Tennessee and Wyoming — are developing NCSG membership.

The NCSG was founded in 1986 as a nonprofit organization, which exists to “support State Games member organizations in the promotion of health, fitness and character building through multi-sport competitions and physical activities,” according to its website. NCSG hosts the national State Games of America every two years, with the next edition slated for 2022 in Ames and Des Moines, Iowa.

For more information on the Meijer State Games of Michigan, visit www.StateGamesofMichigan.com.

For more information on the Michigan Sports Alliance, visit www.MichiganSportsAlliance.org.

For more information on the National Congress of State Games, visit www.StateGames.org.

For more information on Travel Marquette, visit www.travelmarquette.com or call 906-228-7749.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net


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