State Games of America draws thousands to Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Thousands of visitors are expected to converge on Downtown Grand Rapids this weekend for the State Games of America. That could mean millions of dollars for the local economy.

Organizers said the bidding process to become the host city took place nearly three years ago. Grand Rapids went up against places like San Diego and Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Event director Eric Engelbarts said there are 12,000 people competing in 48 sports.

"We're expecting about 8,000 Michigan residents, and then 4,000 out-of-state residents to join us," he said.

Engelbarts added, "These out-of-state residents will come in, they'll eat at restaurants, stay at hotels, shop in businesses, and we're expecting about $10 million in economic impact over those four days."

The opening ceremony takes place at Van Andel Arena on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

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