Texas Games cancellation may cost city millions

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 21:14:22-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Our local economy has already taken a huge hit because of the pandemic shut down. Now there's news of another multi-million dollar loss for the city after the 2020 Games of Texas have been canceled.

In about two months, the Cabaniss Sports Complex was set to be packed as thousands of the state’s best amateur athletes arrived in Corpus Christi. However, because of the pandemic, the complex and the games have to wait another year.

“We had so many things against us,” said Mark Lord, executive director of the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation. “We don’t even know what the situation will be in two months, but our games as we know them would not be the same anyway.”

TAAF voted to cancel the games Monday. Lord says the federation’s decision to cancel the games was a difficult one, but necessary.

“We felt we wouldn’t give the games or Corpus Christi justice,” said Lord. “It was safest, smartest to protect our athletes, our staff, our volunteers.”

The games were expected to bring about 10,000 athletes and coaches to the city. Not to mention the fans, who spend millions of dollars.

“Over the four days that we are in our hots city, we are an $8 million-$10 million dollar economic impact,” said Lord. “This is our business, we love coming to Corpus, people love coming to the beach. We’ve been there multiple times.”

Corpus Christi previously hosted the games in 1992, 2012, and 2013. Unfortunately the city’s fourth turn as host is also the games’ first cancellation.

“In 34 years of the games we’ve dodged hurricanes, we’ve dodged storms, we’ve dodged heat,” said Lord. “This was unprecedented.”

Because the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation awards the games for two-year cycles, the city was supposed to host this year and next. Instead, this year’s bid will be extended to 2022.