City and county officials are already gearing up to host the U.S. Department of Defense’s Warrior Games next year, a gathering of some 500 U.S. and international military personnel and veterans competing in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and other adaptive sports.
Bexar County commissioners took action today to move forward with negotiations for the games, tentatively set for Sept. 19-27, 2020, following the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on the heels of the summer Olympic Games.
Event organizers plan to use the county-owned AT&T Center and Freeman Coliseum, as well as the city’s Alamodome and other local facilities.
Commissioner Kevin Wolff, who attended the recently concluded 2019 Warrior Games, held June 21-30 in Tampa, Florida, said the event will be “truly, truly inspiring,” providing an opportunity to demonstrate to the nation and the world that San Antonio embraces military service members and veterans.
The city, county and military officials will hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the event featuring military and veteran athletes recovering from wounds or illnesses. Wolff said there will be a call for support from individuals and business to help make it a success in San Antonio.
Col. Lawrence Miller, commander of the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment, said the event highlights 13 adaptive sports and typically generates a human “footprint” of about 2,000 visitors in its host cities.
San Antonio, with sports facilities in and around downtown and near rehabilitative facilities at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston, is an ideal site for the event, which has shifted in recent years to a host city model to encourage community involvement, Miller said.
The games will observe their 10th anniversary next year, and will include an opening ceremony concert and other events that are free and open to the public.
In other business, commissioners heard an update on the recent legislative session that included an overview of about 20 bills affecting Texas counties.
Commissioners were particularly concerned about House Bill 380, which allows property owners to directly appeal tax appraisals in district courts. Commissioner Tommy Calvert suggested the county create at least two courtroom “rocket dockets” to expedite those cases, which could affect the county’s budgeting process.
Officials also said they were concerned that the bill, which takes effect on Sept. 1, could generate so much instability in the ad valorem collections process that it could affect the county’s highly coveted AAA bond rating, which has provided funding of major projects at reasonable costs to taxpayers.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, criticizing legislators, said the session generated restrictions and costs for local governmental entities, but little funding to support them.
“They need to meet people face to face like we do every day,” he said.
Article originally published by San Antonio Express-News – Scott Huddleston