Alabama State Games return to Wiregrass; officials hope it will make a big economic impact

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The games were created with the ASF Foundation in 1982 to teach the youth around Alabama the importance of academics, athletics, good citizenship, and healthy lifestyles.

The games were in Dothan from 2015-17 before leaving and some wonder if they left because it wasn’t popular.

“It is hard sometimes with travel,” State Games Director Dean Kelly said. “So, if we can move around the state occasionally every few years, then it gives another area to host it, and to be able to do that. It wasn’t certainly anything about Dothan that made us leave.”

The games cover a wide variety of sports from field sports like baseball, softball, and soccer to sports like tennis, swimming, and BMX.

When the games were in Dothan for 2017, it had a $2.3 million economic impact.

Dothan’s mayor said he wants it every year.

“Well, we were hoping that they’ll allow us to two years in a row, because once you kind of get the processes and procedures in place, it’s nice to be able to have in consecutive years,” Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba said.

The mayors of Enterprise and Ozark expressed their excitement too.

“So again this will be a plus for the city of Enterprise,” Enterprise Mayor William Cooper said.

“Folks you need to come down,” Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting said. “Just, when we have that opening event, just like being at the Olympics.”

The games will be June 12-14.

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