The Community Games will not be returning to Athlone next year, a statement from the festival’s organisers revealed on Monday (February 27 ) this week.
The statement also made it clear that the hosting of the festival will go out to a tender process in order to decide its home for the years 2019 to 2021.
There were murmurings last week that AIT and local councillors were due to meet with organisers in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of the festival’s return to AIT. However, this new statement appears to suggest that Athlone will not get any special dispensation and will have to compete with other locations.
“Since the decision to relocate to the National Sports Campus was taken, there have been several expressions of interest to host the Aldi Community Games National Festival received from facilities throughout the country,” the statement reads.
“Consequently, the board of Aldi Community Games decided to initiate a tender process for the hosting of the National Festival with all interested parties and other facilities that the board deem suitable.”
The statement adds that the tender document is at the final stages of drafting and will be issued in March. The completed bids will then be assessed by a sub-committee of the board, who will recommend where they believe is the most suitable location for the festival moving forward.
As this process will take some time, the statement added that organisers consider it “prudent” to host the 2018 festival at the National Sports Campus in Dublin.