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Capital Region News

Aurora Games Announces Albany As Host Site

Next year, Albany will host a six-day international sporting competition and entertainment festival.

Female athletes from the United States and around the world will gather in Albany for the Aurora Games, inspired by the Olympics and named in honor of the Roman goddess of the dawn.

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Credit WAMC photo by Jesse King
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Aurora Games - brainchild of Jerry Solomon.

Speaking Monday, Aurora Games creator and executive producer Jerry Solomon says it’s a "slate of sports competitions." "What we wanna do is have a festival that is gonna extend form the streets out there through the arena up into the convention center, and we're gonna celebrate women's sports like its never been celebrated before.  So with that I'm happy to announce that we're gonna be bringing the Aurora Games August 20th to the 25th, 2019 right here to Albany to the Times Union Center."

Alongside the competition will be a festival celebrating women in entertainment, the arts, business and culture.

Aurora Games advisory board member Donna de Varona is a former Olympic swimming gold medalist and ABC Sports journalist.

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Credit WAMC photo by Jesse King
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Donna de Varona

"We found out that 94 percent of women that make it in the higher echelons, in the C-suite of CEOs, CFOs, COOs, have had a sports background. And 50 percent have competed in college. So what does that say about the sport experience? There is a direct correlation. It's about leadership and about taking our place as businesswomen and functioning in our culture. And you know what? We're the envy of the world. So it's important that we are the first to do the Aurora Games next August. To welcome the world to come here and see after 40 some years of work of breaking down doors and prejudice, what sport can do on the field of play. Because you never know where sports can take you."

Solomon says the Games conducted a nationwide search, finally settling on the TU Center.   "We needed to go to a building that had the capability to turn over from one sport to the next to the next to the next over a six-day period, and we knew that that could be done here."

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Credit WAMC photo by Jesse King
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Albany County Executive Dan McCoy; General Manager of Times Union Center Bob Belber.

County Executive Dan McCoy is hoping the Games will make Albany home for good.   "We also want to promote athletes in Albany County to enhance the vision by featuring women in arts, culture, education, entertainment throughout the event. And that's what we wanna add to the Aurora Games to give an opportunity to people here just locally."

To date, 15 countries have signed up to participate in the games, which are to be held every two years. Tickets will go on sale Friday, March 8th, International Women’s Day.

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