The inaugural LA Street Festival, set to be held in El Segundo this September and include the first-ever staging of the World Urban Games, will now go on without hosting the official World Urban Games, according to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), which oversees the Games.
On March 4th, GAISF announced Budapest, Hungary as the new host city, a turnaround from an earlier announcement naming Los Angeles (the event is being held El Segundo) as the host city for the 2019 Games.
But locals and those looking forward to the first LA Street Festival, sponsored in part by Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, will still experience 3-on-3 basketball, esports, and a cultural festival.
LA Times owner Soon-Shiong, in a statement, said a conversation he had with friend and former FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Secretary General Patrick Baumann, who died last October, sparked his involvement with the World Urban Games.
“Together with members of the organizing committee, I’d hoped to see Patrick’s vision through, to create the first World Urban Games, and host it here. As we reviewed the requirements with GAISF, we proposed a more focused event for the first year out. We wanted to build on the popularity of 3 x 3 basketball and esports and create a festival that would engage young people across the community. That proposal became the LA Street Festival, which we will produce and host this September.”
On its website, GAISF wrote of the move to Budapest, “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. The finalized World Urban Games Budapest 2019 competition program will be announced later this month.
Initial predictions said, if staged in LA, the World Urban Games would bring some 700 athletes, 300 referees, and thousands of spectators.
In Budapest, the Games will include 3-on-3 basketball and BMX freestyle cycling, both of which will be included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. GSAIF says the World Urban Games are “the ultimate global showcase for a new generation of urban sport” that will be held every two years, and “feature a wide array of events, including sports competitions, showcases, and demonstrations that fully embrace music, dance and urban culture.”
The Budapest Games will be held Sept. 13-15.
The exact dates for the LA Street Festival have yet to be announced.