The World Games 2022 kicks off with Thursday’s Opening Ceremony at Protective Stadium in Birmingham.

With spectators converging on the stadium for a program that features musical artists Sara Evans, Nelly and Alabama, officials with The World Games 2022 are encouraging people to plan ahead and arrive early because of limited parking options and road closures bordering the secure perimeter around the BJCC and The World Games Plaza presented by Regions at CityWalk BHM.

“This will be the biggest sports party in Birmingham history, and we don’t want anyone to miss it,” The World Games 2022 CEO Nick Sellers said. “If people arrive early, they can visit World Games Plaza at CityWalk BHM or visit the Uptown entertainment area.”

See also: Birmingham welcomes world to town during World Games 2022 (

The Opening Ceremony presented by Alabama Power begins at 7:30 p.m., at Protective Stadium and will feature the parade of athletes into the stadium, as well as a memorable program entitled “Unlocking The Magic: Celebrating Birmingham’s Past, Present and Future.” Gates at Protective Stadium are scheduled to open Thursday at 6 p.m.

As a reminder, here are the road closures for the BJCC/Protective Stadium/downtown area:

·         12th Avenue North from 16th Street North to 25th Street North

·         Rev. Abraham Woods Boulevard from 17th Street North to 25th Street North

·         6th Avenue North from 18th Street North to Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard

TWG 2022 officials encourage the public to “Ride The Line” and utilize the color-coded shuttle service that will transport fans around the city throughout The Games. The free shuttles begin service on Thursday and allow spectators to park at various locations, including downtown Homewood, Legion Field, the Birmingham CrossPlex and the World Games East Parking, and use the shuttles to get to the BJCC Complex. Shuttles should run every 15-to-20 minutes.

Complete information about The World Games Transit Line can be found online here.

For spectators who choose to Ride the Line, the shuttle service will drop off passengers at the front door of The World Games Plaza presented by Regions.

Other parking options include:

The Blue Lot at the BJCC, which has approximately 1,800 parking spaces and is located one block east of Protective Stadium.

-  Parking south of 7th Avenue/Park Place, which requires a four-block walk to access the secure perimeter. Additional on-street parking is also available to the north of the stadium beginning at 3rd Avenue North.

-  6th Avenue North from 18th Street North to Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard

-  Other transportation, such as ride-sharing and scooters

Fans should also be aware that a clear bag policy will be in effect, and there is also a list of prohibited items.

TWG2022 officials also caution fans to prepare for hot and humid conditions, which is normal for Birmingham during mid-summer.

Spectators are permitted to enter outdoor venues with clear, non-glass refillable water bottles to enjoy complimentary water at The World Games. Water is available free of charge for refills and located near concession areas and main walkways.

Misting stations provided by Birmingham Water Works are also scheduled to be at the following outdoor venues: Avondale Park, Hoover Met, Oak Mountain State Park, PNC Field on the UAB campus, Bessie Estell Park, Birmingham-Southern Athlete Village and UAB Athlete Village.

“We have been preparing for The World Games 2022 for years, and it’s now time for Birmingham to shine on the international stage,” Sellers said. “We want spectators to enjoy the Opening Ceremony, followed by 10 days of world-class athletic competition right here in the Magic City.”

Other Resources:

Maps of road closures during The World Games 2022.

Information and map for The World Games Transit System.

Information about prohibited items and other issues fans should know.

Information about The World Games Plaza presented by Regions at CityWalk BHM.

Tips for avoiding heat-related illnesses, courtesy of UAB Medicine.

Story by Josh Bean, for The World Games 2022. To comment, email [email protected].

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