San Diego will host the Donate Life Transplant Games 24 months from now.

The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl organization led the successful bid to bring the games to San Diego. The event will run July 29–Aug. 3, 2022 and is expected to draw 12,000 people.

The Transplant Games bring together thousands of organ transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, those awaiting transplant, transplant professionals, supporters and spectators from across the nation and the globe. The six-day festival event includes 20 athletic and recreational competitions for recipients and living donors as well as full array of special events and programming meant for all attendees.

The Transplant Games were founded in 1990 and have been held every two years, in various cities around the United States. The Transplant Life Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan organizes the event.

Lead partners in the 2022 games include the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, San Diego Tourism Authority, Lifesharing, UC San Diego Health, Sharp HealthCare, Scripps Health and Novartis. Lifesharing is the federally designated nonprofit group that coordinates organ and tissue donation in San Diego and Imperial counties.

“We at the SDCCU Holiday Bowl are so proud that we were successful in securing the bid for this prestigious event for San Diego,” said Mark Neville, CEO of the Holiday Bowl, in a statement released at the announcement on July 16. “Our mission is to generate tourism and visibility for the San Diego region. The Transplant Games is going to be a tremendous event for the national transplant community and San Diego’s tourism industry. We’re fired up!”

“Hosting the Transplant Games is great news for our region as we look to the recovery of the tourism industry,” said Julie Coker, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “But today’s announcement is about more than the economic boost these games provide. It is what it says about our community, as well. San Diegans are known to give back, to work together and to be resilient. Those are the very values that define the transplant community. So, we look forward to welcoming the thousands of participants and their families in 2022 for a weeklong celebration of their resiliency — and of ours.”

“The decision to bring the Transplant Games to this community was made easier by the tremendous efforts of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl team in putting together an outstanding bid,” said Bill Ryan, president and CEO of the Transplant Life Foundation. “The rich landscape and scenic beauty of the area enhances an unparalleled group of venues suitable for our transplant families. Add to this the chance to promote the efforts of major transplant centers like UC San Diego Health, Sharp HealthCare and Scripps Health allows us to promote our mission of increasing awareness to the health benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation.”