BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (March 8, 2023) – The Transplant Life Foundation has awarded the 2024 Transplant Games of America to Birmingham, Alabama, officials announced today. The Games, which will take place July 5-10, 2024, is a national, festival-style, multi-sport event that will bring together nearly 10,000 members of the transplant community, generating an estimated $10.2 million in economic impact for the Birmingham region.
“In 2022, there were almost 44,000 organ transplants in the United States, setting a new record,” said Bill Ryan, president and CEO of the Transplant Games of America. “This remarkable life-saving medical advancement is only possible through the selfless act of individuals who, in passing gave others a chance at a return to health. Living donors also help bring new life to others in need, and the Transplant Games helps remind us that over 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for an organ, and dozens die every day because an organ was not available for them. We are thrilled to bring this event to the Birmingham community and can’t wait for our teams and their families to experience the warmth and friendship that visitors to Alabama enjoy.”
Held every two years, the Transplant Games of America is a celebration of life for transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, individuals on the waiting list, caregivers and transplant professionals. The Games honor the legacy of donors, highlight the need for an importance of organ, eye and tissue donation, celebrate the success of transplantation and increase the national and state donor registry numbers.
“This is a special event with an incredible legacy,” said John Oros, president & CEO of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Hosting the Transplant Games of America not only gives our community a chance to be a part of its mission and impact, but it further establishes greater Birmingham as an international sports destination.”
The weeklong event features thousands of athletes from all 50 states competing in 20 athletic and recreational competitions. Joining the nearly 43 domestic teams will be international guest teams from Australia, Brazil, Columbia and others. The full lineup of sports will be announced in the future, but is expected to include badminton, ballroom dancing, 3-on-3 basketball, bowling, cornhole, cycling, darts, golf, pickleball, table tennis, swimming, tennis, trivia challenge, track and field, virtual triathlon, volleyball and more. Athletic competitions will be hosted at seven venues across the greater Birmingham area and will be free and open for all spectators.
In addition to the medal events, the Games will host more than 45 special events and programs designed to bring the community together, including the Opening Ceremony, 5K Race/Walk, Donor Tribute Ceremony, Living Donor Celebration, seminar and workshop program, TGA Village, Veteran’s Salute, Quarter Century Club Dinner, and more. These events not only serve as an opportunity for donor families, recipients, living donors and professionals to engage with one another and share stories, but it celebrates donors who gave the selfless gift of life.
“This celebration of life for transplant recipients and donors fits perfectly in the Magic City,” Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin said. “With one of the nation’s busiest transplant programs located in Birmingham, our city clearly understands and embraces the mission of the Transplant Games of America. We look forward to celebrating the success of transplantation, the inspirational stories of athletic achievement on display during the games, and the powerful human connection that occurs whenever a multi-sport event comes to Birmingham.”
"Jefferson County is proud to support these games in our communities and looks forward to recognizing and engaging with the teams and visitors,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons, Chair of the County’s Economic Development Fund. “With UAB recognized as one of America’s top transplant centers in 2022, hosting these games and shining a light on the excellent work performed here, and across the country, is a natural fit.”
The 2024 Transplant Games of America will be the 18th edition of the event, which was established in 1990 and has been previously hosted in cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston and San Diego.
About the Transplant Games of America
The Transplant Games of America® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation, as well as to bring awareness to the tremendous advances in the field of transplantation and in the development of immuno-suppressant drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.
About the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) is the official tourism and marketing organization for Birmingham and Jefferson County. Established in 1969, the non-profit agency generates positive economic impact by positioning the greater Birmingham area as a premier destination for conventions, sporting events, and domestic and international leisure travel. Named one of Conde Nast Traveler’s “22 Best Places to Go in 2022,” Birmingham and its neighboring municipalities welcome more than 3.6 million visitors each year, generating $2.2 billion in economic impact.