Cleveland awarded 2014 Gay Games

Cleveland was awarded the 2014 Gay Games in an announcement made a minute ago in Cologne, Germany, at the Federation of Gay Games meeting. Cleveland beat out Boston and Washington D.C.

Valarie McCall, the chief of government affairs for the City of Cleveland, said the decision was "transformational" for the city. "When you come to Clev-e-land, O-hi-o, U.S.A., we will, we will, rock you," she chanted.

Cleveland has committed a reported $4.5 million to the event, and 7,000 people showed up at a recent rally at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to make their pitch for the city. The financial pledges were a key factor since the Gay Games host has finished in the red in 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002, though Chicago in 2006 broke even.

"Cleveland demonstrated to the Federation of Gay Games that they understood the mission of the Gay Games and our principles of ‘Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best,'" said Kurt Dahl and Emy Ritt, FGG co-presidents in a statement. "We were highly impressed by the facilities and infrastructure, the widespread community sport, their financial plan and the city's experience in hosting large scale sports and cultural events."

On a live chat being held during the announcement, supporters of all three cities weighed in. After the vote, there were already some sour grapes from the losers:

Cleveland Grrrl : Cleveland's City Council has already committed millions to this event, and threw a party that thousands showed up for... we earned this.

Reply: we will see : But they have to convince 12,000 participants and many more spectators to travel there...And I just don't see that happening. You want to spend 8 days there?

I have never been to Cleveland and expect to go in 2014, but I ask those who have visited or lived there: Would you attend a Gay Games in Cleveland?

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