Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 03, 2009

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

2009 Empire State Summer Games Suspended

Emphasis will be on fundraising for 2010 competition

Senior Games and Games for Physically Challenged to Proceed

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced that the 2009 Empire State Summer Games will be suspended for one year due to New York's unprecedented fiscal crisis.

"The state's financial situation combined with specific financial and logistical challenges for potential host communities have led to the determination that the 2009 Empire State Summer Games competition would be suspended," said State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash.

According to Ash, an advisory committee will be formed determine how to restructure the Empire State Games and create a program for the future, including the summer 2010 event in Buffalo and the Winter Games in Lake Placid.

"Moving forward, it is difficult to foresee that the state, alone, will be in the position to continue to fund 90 percent of the cost of the overall program, which totals more than $3 million annually. The committee will consider such items as private fundraising, participant fees, numbers of competitions and non-sporting-related costs."

This year's Senior Games, which relies on a participation fee, will occur as scheduled in Cortland June 2-7. The Games for the Physically Challenged, which have been paid for in part, will occur as scheduled May 28-30 in Uniondale, Long Island.

The Games, which originated in 1978, have operated on an annual budget of more than $3 million - of which $2.7 million has come from the state.