Special Olympics New York Seeks Community Hosts for State Games

Bidding Process Now Open for State Summer & Winter Games 2025-27

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York today announced that it is accepting bids from communities interested in hosting its signature State Summer Games and State Winter Games annually from 2025 to 2027.

Special Olympics New York State Games follow each of the statewide organization’s three sports seasons: Winter (February) Summer (June) and Fall (October). The Games are utilized by Special Olympics chapters throughout the country as a spectacular culminating event to mark the achievement of athletes with intellectual disabilities and to bring communities together in a celebration of inclusion.

A State Games weekend typically attracts approximately 1,000 athletes and coaches from throughout the state. Host communities must have available venues for Opening Ceremonies and competition in up to 8 sports. The community will also work with Special Olympics New York to ensure housing, meals, volunteers, and sponsorship to support the event.

“State Games are a chance to witness first-hand the joy, courage and determination of our athletes,” said Special Olympics New York Board of Directors Chair Ceylane Meyers-Ruff. “These events are a privilege to have in your community; something you will be proud of for years to come. I encourage county, chamber, university, and tourism leaders throughout the state to strongly consider this opportunity.”

“Hosting State Games is an opportunity to make a positive impact in your community unlike any other,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “State Games is where our entire movement comes together for one incredible weekend: the highest level of sports competition, social activities, and life-changing health screenings for athletes as well as an epic celebration of inclusion with host communities and volunteers.”

“Hosting a state level event for Special Olympics New York in Dutchess County was a highlight in my career,” said Mary Kay Verba, former president & CEO of Dutchess County Tourism. “The organization and staff are the best. Being able to highlight the county and bring 1,800 athletes and coaches to Dutchess was awesome. One of the best moments was seeing more than 3,000 volunteers from the community come out to help and cheer on the athletes. Do NOT miss the chance for your community to host this great event.”

“State Games is what athletes and coaches look forward to all year,” said Special Olympics New York Athlete Leadership Council Chair Jessica Spitz. “On behalf of the thousands of athletes who go for the gold each year at State Games, thank you to the communities, sponsors, and volunteers who make our dreams come true.”

Community leaders are invited to express interest in hosting the Games by submitting an inquiry online at specialolympicsNY.org or sending an email to Stacy Eder, Statewide Director of Community Engagement and Events, at seder@nyso.org.