Not since the 1984 Summer Olympic Games has Los Angeles hosted an event of such grand proportions. Planning for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games is in the homestretch, and President/CEO Patrick McClenahan’s expectations are high as the city gears up for next summer’s influx of spectators and economic stimulus. Thanks to a recent deal struck with ESPN, the Games will be broadcast globally. In addition to more than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations competing, 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators will converge on the city. Venues from Encino to Long Beach will be hosting events.
“The mission of these World Games is to create the awareness that leads to increased acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities throughout the nation and the world,” says McClenahan. “ESPN made it clear to us that they wanted the opportunity to chronicle the inspiring stories of our athletes and share them with their massive worldwide audience.” McClenahan added that, based on a study commissioned by LA Tourism and executed by Micronomics, the economic impact in the region will be an estimated $415 million.