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    Loudoun will host World Police and Fire Games events in 2015

    The World Police and Fire Games, slated for summer 2015 in Fairfax and Loudoun will play host to 10,000 athletes from 70 different countries.

    The 2015 World Police and Fire Games are being played June 26 to July 5 in Fairfax and seven venues in Loudoun County.

    More athletes are expected than the 2012 London Olympics, which saw more than 10,000 athletes compete. Organizers for the World Police and Fire Games are expecting a minimum of 12,000 athletes.

    There's almost as much nationalism as well, hosting people from 70 different countries.

    In fact the second largest event venue will be Morven Park, which is expected to host soccer events.

    Morven Park was also discussed as a potential venue in a bid for Washington to host the summer Olympics in 2024. Then it was discussed as a location for the equestrian events.

    The Police and Fire Games could be a proving ground to secure the Olympic bid.

    “They very much understand that our success is important,” said Bill Knight, president and CEO of the 2015 World Police and Fire Games and one of the leaders of the Washington 2024 bid.

    Ice Hockey will be played at Ashburn Ice House and golf at Lansdowne Golf Course, among others.

    A primary economic impact of $60 million to $80 million is expected, according to Knight. The impact will mostly be realized in Fairfax County.

    The impact on Loudoun could be big as well.

    Knight said he believes Dulles International Airport will be a primary access point for the games.

    Some athletes, friends and family will stay in Loudoun hotels as well and vacation while they are here.

    Event organizers are expecting two to three family members and friends for every athlete, meaning there could be an influx of 30,000 to 40,000 new people in Fairfax and Loudoun, roughly 10 percent of Loudoun’s population for the 10-day event.

    The game has roots in California, where 30 years ago the games started in earnest as the California Police Olympics.

    Over the course of the event’s history, it has been hosted in cities like Melbourne, Barcelona, Belfast New York and Quebec.

    The federation determines where the games take place six years in advance, so Fairfax found out it had won the bid in 2009 when the games were in Vancouver.

    The games are a public-private partnership. The games have a $20 million budget. Initial foundation support came from Fairfax County through cash and in-kind donation.

    A pay-to-play structure will be set up also, whereby players will pay to participate in the games.

    A merchant incentive program has been set up to reach out to restaurants. The private sector members of the organization are also attempting to secure sponsors.

    The workforce for the event is volunteer-based; the games need close to 4,000 volunteers.

    Registration for the event will start Oct. 1 at noon. There is no qualification for the games, but many of the more popular events fill up quickly. Games are open to any active or retired sworn officer.
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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

    Loudoun Business Journal - Spring 2014