The countdown is officially on, as host city Lethbridge is exactly one year out from the first day of the 2020 Alberta Summer Games.
More than 3,000 participants plus parents and fans will pack the Enmax Centre for the opening ceremonies, on July 23, 2020.
“Two-thousand-two-hundred athletes, about 600 coaches and 200 officials [will be there],” said Steve Dudas, manager of the Lethbridge 2020 ASG Society.
The games will feature competition in 14 sports, with athletes between the ages of 11 and 17 visiting from across the province.
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Lethbridge was awarded the 2020 games at the end of March, after submitting a bid in 2017.
Dudas said that in the seven months that he’s been on board, a lot of planning has already been done.
“It’s all logistics, meetings, confirming facilities, confirming volunteers,” Dudas said. “There’s about 75 main, initial volunteers that we have, from directors to chair people.”
With most venues for the events already finalized, he said there are just two or three more that need to be decided upon. Organizers also need to complete plans for the athletes village, which will see competitors staying in different high schools around Lethbridge.
With athletes chaperoned by coaches who will also be staying in the high schools, that leaves parents and other fans on their own in hotels and around the city. Dudas said that could help with the economic impact that the games have.
“The numbers that we’ve gotten from the Grande Prairie  Games was about $5.2 million in economic impact,” Dudas said. “We’re expecting about the same.”
Dudas said he believes that Lethbridge could see more fans than Grande Prairie, based on location.
For now, he and other organizers are just trying to spread awareness through the games’ website and social media.
In the fall, a call for volunteers will go out, and Dudas said they are hopeful they can find around 1,800 people to help things run smoothly.
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