The Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2022 World Games will be held at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, it has been confirmed.
The new 47,100-capacity venue is scheduled to be completed in 2021, costing $180 million (£140 million/€150 million) to build.
The World Games, due to run from July 7 to 17 in 2022, will generate $256 million (£200 million/€215 million) for the city’s economy, it has been claimed.
"Being able to open and close the Games in this beautiful new stadium adds yet another layer of excitement and anticipation," said World Games 2022 chief executive Nick Sellers.
"We’ll be putting Birmingham on a global stage, and people across the world are going to be impressed with this venue."
Tad Snider, executive director and chief executive of architects Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Authority, added: "Events like the World Games’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies are exactly what we had in mind when designing Protective Stadium to be a versatile, multi-use facility.
"We’re excited to work with The World Games and the City of Birmingham to host elite international athletes and fans in Birmingham’s new, next-generation stadium."
The Opening Ceremony is expected to feature live entertainment and special effects, with the programme including speeches from key dignitaries and the athletes’ parade, representing more than 100 countries.
"It's a BIG party, a can't miss moment for our community to showcase our city to the world!"— The World Games 2022 Birmingham (@TWG2022) October 11, 2020
Presented by @alabamapower and produced by LRY Media Group, the #TWG2022 Opening Ceremony will be a night the Magic City will never forget!#RoadtoBHM @TheWorldGames @ProtectiveStdm pic.twitter.com/UWtOk5ogAG
Produced by Birmingham-based LRY Media, the Opening Ceremony is also set to celebrate Birmingham’s past, present and future.
Rashada LeRoy, chief executive of LRY Media Group, said: "The Opening Ceremony will invite attendees to travel along as we unlock the magic of the Magic City - a city known for its revolution, activism and innovation.
"Our concept, seen through the lens of four girls, will show Birmingham being transformed into a world-class city; a city that used its past to fuel a desire to be the best, a champion city in Alabama that will welcome elite athletes from all over the world."
The Closing Ceremony will be an opportunity for fans and volunteers to bid farewell to Birmingham and include the ceremonial passing of the World Games flag to representatives from Chengdu in China, which is due to stage the Games in 2025.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin added: "This event will provide a chance to bring each of us closer together - to understand collectively where we have come from and where we are going.
"Let the world know, Birmingham is ready to deliver a once in a lifetime experience."
In addition to Protective’s role as the naming-rights sponsor of the new stadium, the Birmingham-based insurance company is also a Foundation Partner of the World Games 2022.
"During this significant moment in our city’s history, the eyes of the world will be on Birmingham," said Rich Bielen, President and chief executive of Protective.
"The World Games 2022 will showcase Birmingham as the dynamic city we know and love, and I’m proud that Protective Stadium will play such an important role in welcoming athletes, fans and visitors from across the globe."
The stadium will be the permanent home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's American football team, the Blazers, who play in Conference USA.