The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), one of the largest non-profit, volunteer, amateur multi-sport organizations in the world, announced Baltimore, Maryland as the host city for the 2028 and 2032 AAU Junior Olympic Games. The announcement came during a press conference on the track of Hughes Memorial Stadium – on the campus of Morgan State University – featuring Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, AAU President & CEO Jennings “Rusty” Buchanan, The Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland President Terry Hasseltine, and Visit Baltimore President & CEO Al Hutchinson.
“As a former AAU Athlete, it is an incredible honor to announce that Baltimore will host the 2028 and 2032 AAU Junior Olympics Games,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Bringing this amazing event to Baltimore aligns with my Action Plan pillar for prioritizing youth and reflects my sincere belief in the profound benefits of healthy competition. There is no greater honor for me and every youth athlete who has ever participated in the AAU program than to be able to host this incredible event, and there is no better place to hold the competition than on the campus of Morgan State University, right here in Baltimore.”
“The AAU has a long tradition of working with host cities to provide premier youth sporting events across the country each year,” said Jennings “Rusty” Buchanan, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) President & CEO. “Bringing the Games to Baltimore continues that trend of working with the very best partner cities who share our vision of Sports For All, Forever to hold record-breaking events for the youth of America.”
“It is an absolute honor that the AAU has selected Baltimore as the host city for the Junior Olympic Games for 2028 and 2032,” said Al Hutchinson, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. “Baltimore is becoming a major player in the sporting events industry and continuing to secure large sporting events like the AAU Junior Olympic Games encourages the development of youth sports facilities in Baltimore so we can position our city nationally as a great destination for sports lovers to enjoy everything that Baltimore has to offer.”
“Baltimore City and the State of Maryland continue to be a sought-out destination for national and global caliber sport tourism events. To partner with AAU and host their Junior Olympic Games in 2028 and 2032 – given the organization’s reputation and positive impact on youth sports nationwide – is a huge win for the local community,” said Terry Hasseltine, President of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), the non-profit arm of the Maryland Sports Commission.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games is the largest national multi-sport event conducted annually for youth in the United States and is the showcase event of the AAU Youth Sports Program. The inaugural Games were hosted by Washington, DC in 1967 with two sports and 523 athletes.
Serving as the host of the AAU Junior Olympic Games has proven to be rewarding to those communities involved. The economic impact for hosting the AAU Junior Olympic Games is estimated at $59 million on average for the host cities, over eleven days of competition between late July and early August, and an estimated 26,000 to 38,000 visitors to Baltimore during that span, for both 2028 and 2032 respectively. This marks the first time that Baltimore – or the State of Maryland – have been selected to host the AAU Junior Olympic Games, with this also having the potential to be the largest event ever held on the track at Morgan State University.
Some of the sports hosted during the AAU Junior Olympics include:
Track & Field/Multi-Events
Trampoline & Tumbling
Wrestling (HS Team)