The Des Moines Area Sports Commission has landed two more cycles of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games, both 2018 and 2023. The Games is a $1.5 million event run by the Des Moines Area Sports Commission staff, generating $47 million in economic impact for the Greater Des Moines economy. This announcement comes amid preparation for the 48th annual event in Des Moines—July 22 - August 2, 2014. 

“Our hard work leading up to 2014 is paying off. The AAU governing body recognizes the strength of our community support, excellent venues and understanding of youth sports. Des Moines continues to deliver as a sports destination,” says Katie Fencl, Director of Sports with the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, a division of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. Fencl is also Director of the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines.

“We’re honored to host the AAU Junior Olympic Games not only this year—but looking ahead to coming years as well,” says Greg Edwards, President and CEO with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission.

2014 by the Numbers:

  • 40,000 visitors to Central Iowa
  • 30,000 hotel room nights for Greater Des Moines
  • 14,000 athletes expected; ages 3 to 22 years old
  • 2,600 volunteers
  • 2,000 coaches
  • 20 sports represented
  • 5 Greater Des Moines venues; primarily the Iowa Events Center & Drake Stadium
  • 3 times Greater Des Moines has previously hosted: 1995, 2004 & 2009
  • 1 Honorary Chair of the 2014 AAU Junior Olympic Games: Suzie Glazer Burt

Mark your calendars! The Games will catch Des Moines July 25 - August 4, 2018 and July 26 - August 5, 2023.

How to Get Involved with the 2014 Event:

  • For media credential requests, CLICK HERE. Deadline is Saturday, July 19.
  • For volunteer opportunities, CLICK HERE. Shifts are available in four to six hour increments.
  • For a full schedule of events and ticket information, visit

About the Amateur Athletic Union

Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest multi-sport, not-for-profit, volunteer organizations in the United States. It is dedicated to the development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs for youth and adults. The AAU Junior Olympic Games are the largest national multi-sport event for amateur youth conducted in the United States.