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Albuquerque to Host the 2019 National Senior Games

After a yearlong bidding process ABQ lands huge national event

July 12, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – This morning, Mayor Richard J. Berry announced that through a highly competitive process Albuquerque was chosen as the host city for the 2019 National Senior Games.   This event will attract tens of thousands of competitors and spectators from around the country and the world.  The Senior Games are played every two years and began in St. Louis in 1987. The National Senior Games includes 19 sports for women and men.  Individuals 50 years old and better compete in sports like archery, basketball, bowling, golf, pickleball, softball, and swimming. 

“Sports tourism is an incredible opportunity for Albuquerque,” said Mayor Berry. “This is why we have been intentional in the investments we have made to make Albuquerque a perfect destination for this prestigious event.  Our city is very excited to open our doors to the athletes, their families, and friends as we host the National Senior Games in the summer of 2019.”

The bidding process to have Albuquerque selected for this prestigious honor took several months. In 2015, the City of Albuquerque partnered with Visit Albuquerque and the University of New Mexico to create and submit a proposal to host the games.  As a result of the proposal, the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) visited the Albuquerque area and toured a variety of venues including university sports complexes and city facilities.  After the site visit, representatives from the City of Albuquerque were invited to Birmingham, Alabama to make a final presentation to the NSGA Board of Directors.

“When we made our site visit to Albuquerque, the biggest thing that impressed us was that everyone shared a passion for seniors and providing services for their elder citizens,” NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker said. “Mayor Berry uses the motto ‘One City, One Team’ and it’s clear that they are a team. NSGA is confident Albuquerque will do whatever it takes to welcome our athletes and visitors, and to help produce outstanding games at great venues in 2019.”

"We were also impressed with the level of state support given to the New Mexico Senior Olympics for many years," Riker added. "The New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department has provided support making it possible for 28 local games with events in more than 130 communities around the state. This helps feed many more athletes into the state's qualifying events, which has resulted in a large New Mexico contingent coming to the National Senior Games."

Jorja Armijo-Brasher, the Director of the Department of Senior Affairs, said, “This national event will produce a great public-private partnership.  We are thrilled to have been selected.”

The NSGA is a nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport.  NSGA governs the biennial National Senior Games and sanctions 52 member organizations across the country and Canada that host Senior Games or Senior Olympics to provide seniors with quality sports activity.  The 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be June 2-15, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama.  Visit for more information.

To learn more about the services offered by the City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs as well as volunteer opportunities, call (505) 764-6400.  The Information & Assistance Program is available for phone calls Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.