The 2019 Southeast Asian Games, officially known as the 30th Southeast Asian Games or 2019 SEA Games and commonly known as Philippines 2019, is the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games, a biennial regional multi-sport event which is being held in the Philippines from 30 November to 11 December 2019, with games from selected sports started as early as November 24.
This edition is marked by the first major decentralization in the history of the Games, with competition venues spread in 23 cities across the country, divided into 4 clusters, all located on the island of Luzon (Metro Manila, Clark, Subic/Olongapo, and a fourth cluster consisting of standalone venues). This will be the Philippines’ fourth time to host the games, and its first since 2005. Previously, it had also hosted the 1981 and 1991 editions of the games. This edition is most notable for being the first edition to include esports and obstacle course as well as having the highest number of sports in the history of the games, at a total of 56.
The hosting rights were originally awarded to Brunei in 2012, but the country pulled out days before the 2015 Southeast Asian Games due to “financial and logistical reasons.”
In July 2015, the Philippines agreed to host the games after Brunei’s withdrawal. However, the Philippines’ hosting was left uncertain following the withdrawal of government support two years later as it planned to use the funds intended for the games for the rehabilitation of Marawi after being occupied by ISIS supporters. Thailand and Indonesia offered to host the games with the latter planning to reuse the venues used for the 2018 Asian Games. However, by 16 August 2017, the Philippine government announced the reversal of the withdrawal.
The country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games is tagged as a “stepping stone” for its possible bid to host the 2030 Asian Games.