World Games names new CEO ahead of 2021 games

Gene Hallman sitting in front of a laptop

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The World Games are about a year and a half away. On Tuesday, the Board of Directors announced the appointment of their new CEO, Nick Sellers.

The new CEO is already hitting the ground running. Sellers sat down with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to discuss what the next 19 months of planning will look like.

Sellers said he has already made a commitment to the mayor on his first day on the job.

“It was very important to the mayor that this is an event that will create shared prosperity for the community,” he said. “And I committed to him that that will be my goal.”

The World Games is expected to generate an estimated $256 million in economic impact for the Magic City. Gene Hallman, with Bruno Event Planning, said they’re on track to meeting their fundraising goal.

“We’re well north of halfway there in terms of raising the money to cover the expenses,” Hallman said.

The World Games have not been in the US since the inaugural competition in 1981.

“I couldn’t be more excited about it. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience for Birmingham and the state of Alabama really,” Sellers said.

Homeland Security will be overseeing security for the World Games, working alongside city, county and state law enforcement. Hallman said more details will be released early next year.

“We fully expect to have a comprehensive security plan in place by early next year,” he said.

While the games are a decades-long tradition, there are competitions to look forward to that we may not be used to watching, like fistball, finswimming, and tug-of-war.

“There are some weird ones! I’m learning about korfball. I’ve never heard about korfball until today,” Sellers said.

Hallman said we can expect to learn more about logistics, like parking and transportation in early 2020.