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January 29, 2009 - 7:42pm

Empire State Games are officially dead despite petition

posted by Brian Hillabush in baseball, basketball, sports, volleyball, wrestling.

 The petition to try and save the Empire State Games doesn't mean a thing to the organizers of the games in Hudson Valley.

There are currently 3131 signatures on the online petition, but there will still be no summer games for area athletes to compete in.

But Alan Wechsler of The Times Union reports that the petition will not save the games:

 

The state has paid about $2.7 million per year to run the annual games, but balked this year due to budget problems. The $285 pays for entry fees, food and dorm rooms at colleges near the venues.

The petition is addressed to Gov. David Paterson and Carol Ash, commissioner of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and seeks to reverse the changes.

"The Summer Games as a whole entity brings in $10 to $15 Million to the local economy of the host city," the petition says. "At a cost to the state of only $2 million, we feel this is a very wise investment."

 

Local volunteers had even raised $300,000 to keep the games alive, but it that didn't matter to Hudson Valley either.

 

"That was very troublesome to all of the volunteers that were involved," said committee member Denise VanBuren of Poughkeepsie. "We felt unable to stage the games as we had committed."

The decision was made despite having raised about $300,000 from local sponsors. The petition wouldn't change their minds, she said.

 

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