WGI Announces no in-person events in 2021 due to ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic
In response to the unprecedented global health crisis of COVID-19, today WGI Sport of the Arts announced the cancellation of in-person events for the 2021 season. These events include the annual WGI World Championships hosted each April in Dayton.
According to Ron Nankervis, Executive Director of WGI Sport of the Arts, "Despite this disappointment, our role as a global leader in the marching arts has never been more critical. We had hoped to use this upcoming season as a beacon of healing after the abrupt and challenging end to the 2020 season.
Still, after numerous discussions with local and state health officials, our top priority remains to ensure the health and well-being of all our participants and patrons. WGI will offer a robust schedule of virtual competitive and non-competitive events to keep students and educators motivated and engaged.
While much remains uncertain right now, one thing is for sure: this crisis will pass. Our WGI community will recover, and we will return in 2022 by providing powerful and meaningful experiences for young people as WGI has for over four decades. We are convinced more than ever of the redeeming qualities of the arts in all our lives."
"2021 would have marked the 43rd annual WGI World Championships and 34th year out of 43 years the Worlds were hosted in Dayton. We now look forward to hitting those milestones in 2022. We will eagerly work with WGI to help ensure successful 2022 World Championships in Dayton! The Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau appreciates the difficult decision the WGI executive team has made and we look forward to a continued positive relationship with this outstanding organization as we move toward 2022" states Jacquelyn Y. Powell, President & CEO of the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"The WGI World Championships is our community's largest convention/event. In April 2019, collectively over nine days in a two-week period, the events generated an estimated $24,705,000 in direct spending economic impact for the region. This will represent a difficult loss for the local hospitality community in 2021, and is another example of the damaging impact the coronavirus continues to have on the travel and tourism industry."