World Games 2022: Officials urge fans to arrive early for Thursday night’s opening ceremony

Officials are encouraging people to plan ahead and arrive early for Thursday night’s opening ceremony for the 2022 World Games at Birmingham’s Protection Stadium.

The Thursday evening program includes musical artists Sara Evans, Nelly and Alabama, the parade of athletes in the stadium and a program called “Unlocking The Magic: Celebrating Birmingham’s Past, Present and Future”.

The gates to Protection Stadium are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. Thursday. The program starts at 7:30 p.m.

The entertainment night will kick off an Olympic-style sports competition that includes many sports that are not in the Summer Olympics. The 2022 World Games will feature 3,600 athletes competing in events at 24 venues across the metropolitan area through July 17.

This includes water sports at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, women’s softball at Hoover Met, lacrosse at UAB’s PNC Field, karate at Birmingham-Southern College’s Battle Coliseum, flag football at Legion Field and the gymnastics at the BJCC Arena. The Boutwell auditorium will host kickboxing and sumo wrestling, which is already sold out. Sloss Furnace will offer sport climbing, parkour and beach handball. Avondale Park will host archery. The CrossPlex will host canoe polo and inline hockey. Barber Motorsports Park will host the piloting of the canopy.

Early arrival Thursday night is advised due to limited parking options and road closures lining the secure perimeter around the BJCC and World Games Plaza, officials said.

“It will be the biggest sporting celebration in Birmingham’s history, and we don’t want anyone to miss it,” 2022 World Games CEO Nick Sellers said in a press release. “If people arrive early they can visit World Games Plaza at CityWalk BHM or visit the Uptown entertainment area.”

Here is road closures for the BJCCC/Protection stadium/downtown:

  • 12th Avenue North from 16th Street North to 25th Street North
  • Rev. Abraham Woods Boulevard from 17th Street North to 25th Street North
  • 6th Avenue North from 18th Street North to Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard.

Officials are encouraging people to take advantage of the free 2022 World Games shuttle service, “Ride the Line,” which will serve people in more than a dozen parking areas, including downtown Homewood, Legion Field, the Birmingham CrossPlex and the World Games East Parking. go here for all parking locations, hours and more information.

Read more: 2022 World Games: Flag travels to Huntsville 5 days before Opening Ceremony in Birmingham

World Games 2022: A racing guide to performances, art exhibits, drinks and restaurants

AL.com’s coverage of the 2022 World Games.

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