The Sin City Classic may be slimmed down for 2021, but organizers of the event are currently still planning to host the multi-sport LGBTQ sporting event in two months, Jan. 14-17.
Because of an Oct. 2 state order in Nevada, certain outdoor adult recreational sports are allowed to take place. That opens the door for softball, kickball, tennis and running to welcome athletes and competition to the courts, roads and fields of Las Vegas. Ken Searce, executive director of the Sin City Classic, expects about 3,000 participants across the four sports.
“We are continuing to monitor state and local guidelines for Nevada and Las Vegas and will follow all protocols put in place by local health and government officials to ensure a safe event,” event organizers said in a statement.
Due to statewide COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no official social events, including no registration or closing parties. Though of course participants and teams will celebrate as they see fit for themselves.
Flag football organizers were also given the green light to hold a competition, but for various factors — including being unable to secure the facility they have used in the past — they decided to not include the sport in January’s Classic.
All of the sports organizers are mandated to provide a COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan to the State of Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry ahead of the event.
For so many people kept away from the sports they love, and many of them staying away from friends and teammates, it will be a welcome respite from the isolation of the reaction to the pandemic.
Of course this could all change if government officials decide to increase restrictions on athletes and outdoor exercise in the state.
Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, this week triggered what he’s calling “Stay at Home 2.0,” a set of guidelines and suggestions to keep people more isolated, as the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Nevada. Currently there are no travel restrictions in or out of the state.
According to comments this week from Sisolak, he could “take stronger action in 14 days” if the number of new cases doesn’t go down. The governor claimed the state’s hospitals could soon become overrun. In response, various Southern Nevada hospitals issued a joint statement on Wednesday assuring the public they are “fully prepared” to handle a surge of patients for COVID-19.
“Southern Nevada hospitals can confidently state we remain fully prepared,” the joint statement by hospitals read. “We have the available capacity, expertise and resources to care for our community during this difficult time.”
The hospitals added that they have the ability to create additional temporary beds, but they have not had any need to trigger that measure yet.
According to the Nevada Hospital Association, COVID-19 patients today make up about 14% of the patients in hospital beds in the state.
Currently non-contact high school sports are set to return to Nevada in January.
Each sport at the Classic has its own refund policy if the situation in Nevada changes, so be sure to check that out.
“We’re going to do what’s safe and what’s right for the teams and players,” Searce said, “and will continue to adjust as we get further guidance from the local health officials.”
Hopefully the LGBTQ athletes will get the opportunity to compete and build community at the Sin City Classic in a few weeks.
You can learn more about the Sin City Classic here, and be sure to check back there for developments.