On the Road Again: CrossFit Accepting Bids for New Games Host Site
While this week the city of Madison, WI. is filled with athletes and fans for the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games, America’s Dairyland won’t crown the fittest athletes on earth for much longer, with only one year on the contract remaining. CrossFit is now accepting bids for a new host city that will be home to the CrossFit Games for three to five years starting in 2023.
One big thing: There are three main requirements for the potential host city: It must have multiple venues for events, seat sizable crowds, and have areas for the fans and vendors.
- A “full-size soccer/football field and stadium with a minimum of 15,000 seats” is the first requirement. Artificial or natural turf is acceptable. Director of Sport Dave Castro has used the fields in Carson and Madison for several high-profile events, including the Midline March in 2014, Murph in 2015, and the Sprint Couplet in 2019.
- The second requirement is a “tennis stadium/basketball arena/hockey arena with a minimum of 15,000 seats.” These venues serve as the sites of the biggest moments at the CrossFit Games, including the Friday night events and the final events of the year.
- The third requirement focuses on the spectator areas larger than 375,000 square feet, an athlete village larger than 75,000 square feet, and an operation area larger than 175,000 square feet.
- Along with the primary requirements, the RFP specifies the potential need for an area to hold swimming events. Pools or open water are acceptable for Castro’s needs.
CrossFit and potential host cities are in the midst of the process. According to Sports Destination Management, any interested parties needed to submit a Letter of Intent to Bid to CrossFit by July 1. The Home Office will request additional information about taxes, venue rental fees, or utility costs “if necessary” before making a final selection.
- The process continues with visits to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, providing the next potential host an opportunity to experience firsthand the festivities and how the city transforms.
- Proposals will be due by Sept. 1, which will lead to CrossFit making a selection and setting up the final step. Contract negotiations will begin with the potential host city on Nov. 15.
Per the RFP, “CrossFit is looking for a minimum financial commitment of $500,000 cash, (inclusive of bid fee, food & beverage / other commissions, or other revenue sources) with additional value-in-kind.” The hotel commissions and rebates will not count as part of the calculation.
A weeklong celebration: Simply hosting the CrossFit Games is not the only selling point for the next potential host city. Citing an Ohio University Economic Impact Study, the RFP estimated that the 2018 CrossFit Games made a $28.5 million impact on the city of Madison.
- The 2018 CrossFit Games averaged 17,000 spectators per day of competition.
- Attendees of the Games used 25,344 hotel rooms as 89% traveled to Madison for the CrossFit Games. 27% traveled internationally including athletes, entourages, and fans. The average cost was $273.
A selling point in the request for proposal is the transformation that takes place across the city. CrossFit specifically mentioned partnerships with local bars and restaurants to help create a memorable experience for attendees.
- Rogue partnered with the Great Dane Pub to create a custom menu, special merchandise, and drink specials celebrating CrossFit’s invasion of Madison.
- Bear Komplex took a similar path, joining forces with Whiskey Jacks Madtown.
- Liquid hosted the famous CrossFit Games Afterparty as athletes, judges, media, and volunteers relaxed after another successful season.
Bottom line: CrossFit still has another full year in Madison, however, the future of where the Games will head in 2023 and beyond is unknown. Potential host cities will continue to send bids to CrossFit Home Office and wait to learn if they had the winning bid. As for fans, it will be a while before we know where the fittest athletes on earth will compete for the crown next.