World Games asking Jefferson County for millions to help pay back debt to vendors

JeffCo Commission considering money to help World Games deficit
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 10:09 PM CDT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - World Games officials are now working to raise enough money to pay back 14 million dollars in debt owed to dozens of global and local vendors.

World Games leaders and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin asked the city for an extra five million dollars as a way to raise the money back. Officials are also asking the Jefferson County Commission, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, and private partners.

Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight said the county has already given five million dollars to the games, but now they want another four million dollars. If approved, Knight said the money would likely have to come out of reserve funds or potentially next year’s budget.

But, even county departments are on the list of unpaid vendors. Knight said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is estimating 1.2 million dollars owed by the games to pay for deputy overtime. He said the deputies have been paid for their time, but this would be to pay back the department.

Knight said he believes all four entities should help because the vendors deserved to be paid, but he’s not sure if it will pass the commission.

“Some have said we didn’t get anything out of it,” Knight said. “It’s very close. I would say there is no unity at this point, so we’ll discuss it and hopefully we can pass it to close the books on The World Games.”

The commission will discuss the topic on August 18 at their meeting, but they won’t vote on the issue until the first week of September.

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