In just a few weeks, thousands of athletes will be in Albuquerque competing in the National Senior Games.
Civic Plaza is going to be the heart of the event, drawing at least 14,000 athletes to the downtown area. The city is expecting the massive crowd to draw in millions of dollars in revenue.
Some of the fittest seniors from across the country are ready to sprint, swim, and bike into the Duke City for this year’s National Senior Games.
This year’s games are bigger than ever. “We have the largest showing in the history of the games. We have nearly 14,000 athletes who are competing in the games,” said Alicia Manzano, city spokesperson.
Competitors will be facing off at 21 different locations, spread out across the city. From badminton and table tennis at the Convention Center to horseshoes at Los Altos Park, and basketball at The Pit, Albuquerque is preparing for 25,000 visitors.
“Just to give you an idea, this is the second largest event outside the Balloon Fiesta that the city has probably ever hosted,” said Manzano.
With that many people, the city expects at least $34 million being spent on food and entertainment.
Dan Garcia, one of the owners of Garcia’s Kitchen, says they’re looking forward to sharing their authentic New Mexican food.
“I think when people come to Albuquerque, they want to try New Mexican food,” said Garcia. Although he says their food may not be “athlete friendly.”
“I tell everybody all of our food is fat-free, the fat is free,” said Garcia. Based on his experience with Balloon Fiesta, he knows business will boom.
The city is still in need of about 2,000 volunteers to help with the Senior Games. The games kick off on June 14 and are nine days long.
To sign up to be a volunteer, click here.