When I heard that Cleveland was bidding to host the 2014 Gay Games, I certainly scratched my head. With Boston, D.C. and Miami also bidding, I figured Cleveland, not exactly known for being a gay mecca, would be an odd choice for the Gay Games. But after reading a thorough, well-written three-piece article by Brian Patrick Thornton about Cleveland's bid process, I have certainly changed my mind and find myself actually quite excited at the prospect of a Cleveland Gay Games 2014!
I will definitely point out that the organizers fall into one trap in particular that so many organizers have fallen into: Estimating participation and economic impact numbers. The numbers the article throws out: 20,000 participants, 250,000 spectators and visitors, $60 million economic impact. No Gay Games has ever even had 15,000 participants, let alone 20k. And with more and more competition for gay-sports participants, I can't imagine you'll see 20k people anywhere for the Gay Games. And many have made the mistake in the past of overestimating the number of non-participating visitors. Still, if the organizers can go about this with a workman-like attitude, I've got great hopes for them.
I'll be curious to hear more from the other bidding cities: Boston, D.C. and Miami. Cleveland makes a great case for themselves with infrastructure, public transportation, housing, etc.... These things aren't flashy like South Beach or a public address by a big-name politician, but it's these things that make a Gay Games great.
And if the Synergy Foundation (the organizing group) can remain as smart well-planned as this article is well-written, Cleveland should receive the strongest consideration from the Federation of Gay Games.
Photo by Chuck Martin.