December 1, 2016 at 9:00 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. submits bid to host 2022 Gay Games
2022 Gay Games, gay news, Washington Blade

Tennis legend Billie Jean King is an honorary co-chair of D.C.’s Gay Games effort.

A committee representing local LGBT sports organizations officially submitted a bid on Wednesday to host the 2022 Gay Games in Washington, D.C.

The quadrennial LGBT international sports competition usually draws between 12,000 and 15,000 athletic competitors and between 80,000 and 100,000 spectators to the host city, with an economic impact of more than $100 million, according to Gay Games Washington, D.C. 2022.

“Few events have the prestige or international focus of the Gay Games and GGDC2022 is proud to submit this bid on behalf of the 34 LGBT sports teams of the Washington, D.C. region and, indeed, our whole community,” said Brent Minor, chair of the Bid Committee.

“We know that Washington has the experience, passion and international appeal that make us an excellent choice,” Minor said.

As of early this week, D.C. was among nine cities in the U.S. and abroad competing to host the 2022 Gay Games. The other cities include Austin, Texas; Dallas; Los Angeles; San Francisco, Salt Lake City; Denver; Hong Kong; and Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Federation of Gay Games, which selects the host city, is scheduled to name three finalists on March 1, 2017 after reviewing the bids by the nine cities. Representatives of the three finalist cities will be invited to make detailed presentations in support of their bids at the FGG’s annual meeting in the fall of 2017, when FGG officials will make and announce their final decision on which city will host the 2022 Gay Games.

The D.C. Bid Committee also announced on Wednesday that three prominent LGBT rights and sports enthusiasts have agreed to serve as honorary chairs of the Washington, D.C. Bid – sports and tennis legend Billie Jean King; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and former National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Minor said the three have submitted letters of support for D.C.’s bid to host the 2022 Gay Games.

“We are also pleased to have the full support of the D.C. City Council, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has pledged $2 million to support the event should Washington, D.C. be selected,” Minor said.

According to Minor, the D.C. bid discloses that the D.C. United Soccer Stadium, which is scheduled to be built and completed in the city’s Buzzard’s Point section by 2018, would serve as the place where the Gay Games opening ceremony would be held.

Minor said the closing ceremony would be held at the D.C. Armory, which can accommodate up to 10,000 people.

He said the “main hub” for the Games would be the Walter Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C., where volleyball and dance competitions would take place. Other venues include sports fields at the University of Maryland in College Park, George Washington University, and Gallaudet University, where a special outreach to the deaf and hard of hearing community will be made, Minor said.

The 2018 Gay Games are scheduled to take place in Paris.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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