Last month, well known CrossFit news publication, Morning Chalk Up, published an article that CrossFit was opening a public RFP to bid on the company’s biggest competition – The CrossFit Games. As a local CrossFit affiliate owner, and veteran in the community since 2009, I just know Miami needs to somehow submit a proposal.
Knowing it is not as simple as responding to the public RFP, which has an official due date of September 1, I scrambled to tweet our CrossFit loving Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez.
It’s no secret that Mayor Suarez is a huge advocate for our local fitness community, and he showed that through his advocacy for many gyms in the City of Miami and his participation in the “Stronger Together” grouping of affiliates through the lengthy COVID-19 related lockdowns that that threatened the very existence of the Miami CrossFit affiliate.
Now feels like the right time for Miami to put in a bid to compete, not just at the CrossFit Games, but to host them.
What to know about the CrossFit Games
Miami is no stranger to larger competitions and the CrossFit Games are not your everyday event, which makes having the opportunity to host it even more exclusive.
The first qualification stage for the Games, the Open, is billed as the largest participatory sporting event in the world, with over 415,000 athletes signing up to compete in 2018. The Games were sponsored by Reebok from 2011 to 2020 and now boasts NO BULL as their title sponsor.
The City of Miami is on fire, and that’s no secret. Much of this growth is attributed to our Mayor’s various campaigns to bring more business to our city and help impact our community in a positive way. Hosting the CrossFit Games would seem like a great next step in the continued growth of the 305.
Miami, as a host city, has the opportunity to capitalize on our experience with large scale events such as the Super Bowl, Art Basel, Emerge Americas, The International Boat Show, Orange Bowl, and the Miami Open, to name a few.
More notably within the CrossFit community, Miami has been home to Wodapalooza (WZA) since its debut in 2012. Founded by local CrossFit Games athlete, gym owner, and pioneer in the sport, Guido Trinidad, what began as a grassroots one-day fitness competition with 145 athletes and 500 spectators in 2012, has grown and is a clear indicator that CrossFit has a real presence here in Miami.
WZA, now hosted by Loud Live Sports & Events, has since established itself as the world’s premier Functional Fitness Festival and staple, offering the opportunity of a winter getaway for athletes from around the world. The CrossFit Games would be a perfect compliment to this annual stand-alone winter event.
The steps needed for Miami to land the CrossFit Games
Miami may already be late to the party. According to Morning Chalk Up, Sports Destination Management who issued the RFP, mentioned that any interested parties needed to submit a Letter of Intent to Bid to CrossFit by July 1. CrossFit HQ will request additional information about taxes, venue rental fees, or utility costs “if necessary” before making a final selection.
The good news? RFP response/proposals will be due by September 1, which will lead to CrossFit making a selection and setting up the final step. Contract negotiations will begin with the potential host city on November 15.
The CrossFit Games economic impact on the host city
According to an Ohio University Economic Impact Study cited in the RFP, the 2018 CrossFit Games made a $28.5 million impact on the city of Madison, Wisconsin where the games are currently held through 2022.
According to the RFP, The 2018 CrossFitGames averaged 17,000 spectators per day of competition. Attendees of the Games used 25,344 hotel rooms as 89% traveled to Madison for the CrossFit Games. 27% traveled internationally including athletes, entourages, and fans.
Think about what those numbers would look like in 2023 if hosted in Miami? Considering the convenience of international travel to and from Miami with our major airport and port access, it would seem like a logistical no brainer for the roughly 55,000+ guests who attend from all over the world. I also personally believe we could top that games visitor number should Miami be selected. Wodapalooza has already proven that Miami is a viable global CrossFit competition host city, supported by the massive local CrossFit community.
A selling point in the request for proposal is the transformation that takes place across the city. CrossFit specifically mentioned partnerships with local bars and restaurants to help create a memorable experience for attendees.
The economic benefit to the City of Miami as a whole, coupled with everything Miami has to offer, should be a clear indicator that Miami should “compete” to host the CrossFit Games, not just send our best athletes to them annually.