Last November, CrossFit announced that Madison, Wis., would host the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games, ending the event’s seven-year stint in Los Angeles.
How did the capital of a state known for its beer and cheese lure away one of the nation’s most intense fitness competitions, and what was the city doing to prepare for its arrival? AB caught up with Madison Area Sports Commission vice president Jamie Patrick to find out.
The Games started in 2006 at a California ranch with just 70 athletes. Growing interest from competitors and spectators alike drove the need for a larger venue, and the Games spent the next seven years at the Stub Hub Center. After boasting sold-out events for the past five years, the Games were ready to build bigger. A Request for Bids brought interest from 100 cities across the country, but Patrick and the MASC were able to convince CrossFit organizers that Madison had everything they were looking for, including the ability to accommodate the event's continued growth and the opportunity to establish a greater Midwest fanbase.
The Games will officially take place August 1-6 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, but Patrick says that MASC expects some participants to show up as much as a month in advance to get acclimated to the city and its food and fitness offerings. Tickets for the main event go on sale April 27.
AB will be following up the Patrick and the local CrossFit community during the coming months to learn more about how the MASC and community are preparing for this inaugural event.
More from AB:
Key Factors to Breaking into the Sports Tourism Business