D.C. is one of 11 remaining cities on three continents continuing to compete for the right to host the 2022 Gay Games, the quadrennial international LGBT sports competition that draws tens of thousands spectators and athletes to the host city.
According to a statement released on July 1 by the Federation of Gay Games, the organization that sponsors the LGBT sporting event, six U.S. cities that announced plans to bid on the 2022 Gay Games earlier this year have withdrawn from the bidding process.
They include San Antonio; Atlanta; Minneapolis; Anaheim, Calif.; Des Moines, Iowa; and Madison, Wis.
The U.S. cities remaining in the bidding process in addition to D.C. are Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; Dallas; Denver and Austin, Texas.
People familiar with the Gay Games bidding process since the LGBT sports competition was first held in 1984 in San Francisco say FGG organizers for the past decade or more have shown a preference for host cities in parts of the world where the event hasn’t been held before and where such an event would advance the cause of LGBT equality.
The cities outside the U.S. that are currently in the bidding process are Hong Kong; Cape Town, South Africa; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Tel Aviv, Israel.
Brent Minor, who heads Team D.C., the D.C. area LGBT sports organization coordinating D.C.’s bidding process, said each of the cites remaining in the bidding process for the 2022 Gay Games have paid an initial fee of $1,500 earlier this year and a $2,500 fee that was due by June 30 to continue in the bidding process.
He said another fee of $5,000 is due on July 31 and $7,500 will be due on Nov. 30 when the competing cities submit their final “bid book,” a lengthy document outlining their full logistical plans and proposals for hosing the games.
“We are very confident about our bid,” said Minor, who noted that D.C.’s unsuccessful bid for the 2014 Gay Games was deemed a fully qualified bid by the FGG, even though the FGG selected Cleveland to host the 2014 games.
D.C. and Boston were two of the three finalist cites along with Cleveland for the 2014 games.
“The site selection process is one our most vital tasks, and we take great pride in our process,” said FGG Co-President Joanie Evans. “Our gratitude to the interested host organizations for sharing our vision of promoting equality in sport and culture,” she said.
David Killian, the FGG’s Officer of Site Selection, said, “This is a competitive and lengthy process, and we are grateful for all of the [bidding] organizations’ hard work. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly furthering all matters of LGBT equality.”