After successfully hosting a northern Michigan hub of the Meijer State Games - Winter Games in Marquette for the past two years, the State Games of Michigan (SGOM) has tapped the nonprofit Great Lakes Sports Commission (GLSC) to act on its behalf as official host of the northern Michigan hub of the Winter Games in Marquette starting in 2024.
"The Great Lakes Sports Commission is thrilled to partner with the West Michigan Sports Commission to host the Winter Games in Marquette in 2024,” said Eric Marvin, executive director of the Great Lakes Sports Commission. “This collaboration embodies the spirit of unity, celebrating the power of sports to bring communities together. We are excited to create an unforgettable event showcasing the unique culture of our region and the talent of our dedicated athletes. Together, we will make the 2024 Winter Games an inspiring experience for all."
A signature event of the West Michigan Sports Commission, the Meijer State Games of Michigan was started in 2010 as an Olympic-style, multi-sport event that welcomes athletes regardless of age or ability level. It has held a Summer Games since 2010 and added a Winter Games in 2014. In 2022, a second Winter Games location to Grand Rapids was added in Marquette to take advantage of the consistent winter weather that would enhance the experience of particular outdoor winter sporting events.
“The State Games of Michigan was designed to be a Michigan program with a statewide footprint, which we have been excited to expand with the addition of Marquette as a second winter hub for the past two years,” said Julie Shields, director of the State Games of Michigan. “This partnership with the GLSC allows us to bolster and grow that region’s participation in the Meijer State Games of Michigan.”
The GLSC’s role as official host of the northern hub of the Winter Games is to manage athlete recruitment, marketing, local sponsorship and fundraising, ceremonies and special events, and operations (including sports, venues, security, transportation, hospitality, volunteers and medical services) specific to the Winter Games northern Michigan hub. The GLSC will host the northern hub of the Winter Games for a three-year term through 2026, with the opportunity to renew.
Scheduled for Feb. 9-11, 2024, the Marquette-based Winter Games will feature seven sports at six venues, as well as an Opening Ceremonies event Friday, Feb. 9 at Marquette Mountain Resort sponsored by Northern Michigan University. The sports include bowling, curling, figure skating, luge, skiing/snowboard, sled hockey, and wrestling – and all except bowling and wrestling are unique to the Marquette hub of the Winter Games.
“This partnership with the GLSC is another example of the importance of collaboration with tourism associations across Michigan in order to successfully host sporting events, similar to what we did with the Greater Lansing Sports Authority and Visit Muskegon to host the International Bowling Campus Youth 2022 Junior Gold Championships,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “Now we’re doing it with the GLSC as we expand our State Games locations, which we could conceivably keep adding throughout Michigan.”
Registration for the Winter Games Marquette hub as well as the Grand Rapids location is expected to open around mid-November and can be accessed, along with other event information, at stategamesofmichigan.com/marquette-winter-games.