BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuesday the Birmingham City Council addressed concerns over a shortfall in revenue from the world games. The 14 million dollar shortfall has left some vendors unpaid, for now.
This issue was not on the agenda for the Birmingham city council Tuesday but concerns about this revenue shortfall continue to grow. It has some people threatening legal action.
The World Games CEO Nick Sellers said this summer’s games fell short by 14-million dollars leaving several local vendors, venues and performers unpaid. Sellers is asking the city, the county and private partners to help cover that cost.
“To see those businesses suffer a significant financial injury as a result of the world games would be a negative impact on how the world games is considered in the future,” councilor Darrell O’Quinn said.
The World Games is asking the Birmingham City Council to pay 5-million dollars. Councilor O’Quinn said the mayor and the city council are considering the request. During Tuesday’s city council meeting one man expressed strong concerns about paying vendors back, saying it was a lack of planning by the city.
“How could they not know? That such deficits were being rung up unless they were derelict of their fiduciary responsibilities,” Ronald Jackson said.
Jackson, who is the Executive Director of Citizens for Better Schools, said he is prepared to take legal action.
“We are contacting the Attorney Generals Office of the state of Alabama who has spray jurisdiction over non-profits such as The World Games, and asking him for a fraud audit of The World Games,” Jackson said.
But councilor Darrell O’Quinn said hosting an event like this during a pandemic presented challenges and he believes overall the games were a success.
“I would classify Mr. Jackson’s comments as grossly misinformed. No I do not foresee the circumstances he mentioned as a possibility,” O’Quinn said.
O’Quinn said the council is still looking for answers before making a final decision. The council plans to discuss the topic at next week’s city council meeting on August, 23.