Brevard County, Florida is stretching out toward the finish line and hoping to land a big coup this week, as the county has made a bid for the 2020 AAU Junior Olympic Games following the organization's move from its scheduled host site in Hampton, Virginia.
In early May, the Games, in their 54th annual installment, were officially moved away from Norfolk State University when officials at the college and the Hampton Roads Sports Commission communicated to AAU that the campus and its facilities would not be available for use due to precautions over COVID-19.
After careful consideration, including questions related to the uncertainty surrounding facility availability, and with countless hours spent planning possible scenarios to move forward with the event in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Hampton Roads Sport Commission (HRSC) have decided that the 54th AAU Junior Olympic Games will not be held in Virginia.
While we are saddened the event could not be held in Virginia as planned,please note, that alternative locations and datesare being explored tohold the AAU Junior Olympic Games in another area in 2020.
But Florida has been an outlier.
On May 22, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ended restrictions on youth activities throughout the state, telling the Tampa Bay Times "we believe that this makes sense based on the data and observed experience."
AAU has not yet determined its final plan for its annual Junior Olympics competition, which brings in an estimated 5,000-plus athletes, not to mention coaches, parents and family members to regions across the nation every year. Brevard County is looking to land not just track and field, but other sports, too.
No doubt, the decision wil be an important one, Florida Today reported recently, as the Games will be an immediate economy driver and has the potential to book $1 million in revenue for the area's hotels and "$50,000 in Tourist Development Tax revenue for the county." Florida Today revealed that an event like the Games in Brevard County could add $7 to $8 million to the economy.
AAU Vice President Rusty Buchanan is a resident of Cocoa Beach and is helping leading the bid and sent a proposal to the Brevard County Commission on Thursday, Florida Today added.
A decision on the site of the Games could come as early as this week.
Possible amendments could take place as a result of fears over traveling due to coronavirus, such as a newly titled event called the "Sunshine State Games," if parents and their athletes do not want to travel into the state.
According to Florida Today, the last time Brevard County hosted the AAU Junior Olympics was in 1994. The Games have previously been held in 19 states and 30 cities.