Empire State Games coming to town

Thousands of athletes are making their way to Westchester this week to attend the largest sporting event outside the Olympics.

After two years of lobbying by County Executive Andy Spano, Westchester County will host the 30th annual Empire State Games.

?They should think of this as the Olympics, but it?s happening here in Westchester,? Spano said.

The games will begin with opening ceremonies on Wednesday at the Kensico Dam Plaza. Then, some 6,000 amateur athletes from across the state, along with their coaches, families and fans, will compete at 20 different venues.

A lot of work has been going on to get ready for Wednesday?s activities. Parks have been spruced up for the event, with $200,000 spent on renovations at the Ice Casino at Playland Park in Rye.

Over the past several months, close to $3 million was spent so far to get ready for the games. Tax dollars and $600,000 in private fundraising are making it all possible.

Westchester officials estimate that athletes and visitors will pump as much as $30 million into the economy on hotel rooms, food, and other such purchases over the event?s five-day span.

Click here to see more about how the county prepared for the event

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