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Keystone State Games Returning To York County In 2015, 2016 And 2017

Published: 04/29/2014

Brent Burkey
Communications Specialist
York County Convention & Visitors Bureau
717-852-9675, ext. 103 or

YORK, PA - The Keystone State Games, Pennsylvania's largest amateur athletic festival, will be returning to York for three years of annual competitions beginning in 2015. As part of the agreement, York will also host the 2016 Pennsylvania Senior Games, a biennial event.

The announcement, made today during a morning media conference at York College of Pennsylvania's Charles Wolf Gymnasium, brings with it a direct economic impact for York County of approximately $23.8 million and total economic benefits for the county of approximately $41.6 million, according to the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Both figures represent the total cumulative economic impact of the Games over the three years.
Owen Costello, CEO of the Keystone State Games, made the announcement, adding that while five regions expressed interest in hosting the Games, York prevailed for several reasons.

"York was selected because of the excellence of its overall bid and our experience working with them. We feel York has great facilities, especially the York Expo Center, and the County's centralized location is ideal for attracting participants. Plus, the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau is great to work with and provides the highest levels of overall support."

"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the Keystone State Games back to York County," said Anne Druck, President of the York County CVB. "Over the years, we have developed, through Sport York, a great deal of expertise in meeting the needs of sporting event organizers such as Owen Costello. Couple that with our county's outstanding athletic facilities and our wealth of lodging and dining establishments, and you have a partnership built to last."

The Keystone State Games attracts competitors from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, New York, West Virginia, Ohio and Washington, D.C., although baseball, field hockey and ice hockey are open to Pennsylvania residents only. Since its inception, Keystone State Games, Inc. has attracted more than 350,000 participants of various age groups to their events, which include the Keystone State Summer Games, the Winter Sports Festival and the Pennsylvania Senior Games.

The Keystone State Games are a result of a resolution introduced by Representative Joseph R. Pitts (Chester County) and approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1980. Keystone State Games, Inc., a nonprofit corporation, was formed in 1983, with the help of former Governor Richard Thornburgh, so the Games would not be solely dependent on government funding.

The first Keystone State Summer Games, held in 1982, attracted nearly 2,000 athletes to Penn State University. As word spread, popularity grew and more than 7,000 athletes competed in the Hershey-Harrisburg area in 2013.

The more than two dozen sports that are part of the Summer Games include baseball, basketball, field hockey, volleyball and swimming, as well as archery, judo and gymnastics.
York's winning bid package touted the area's expertise in conducting events of this sort, including the development of a local organizing committee to administer and operate all functions associated with the Games.

The York County CVB will work to assemble a strong organizing committee by tapping some of the same people who worked on the 2005-2010 Keystone State Games and have worked on the 2014 Can-Am Police-Fire Games.

The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Sport York program is a dedicated branding campaign designed to recruit events and generate additional economic impact in York County. Sport York positions York County as Pennsylvania's Premier Sports Destination, highlighting the area's dynamic facilities and central location on the East Coast. For further information about Sport York, visit

The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The York County CVB's Vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact; and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit