While some major league sports are starting to draw up plans for resuming play, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance is throwing in the towel and telling players and fans, “See ya next year!”
The Gay Softball World Series, billed as “the largest annual, LGBT single-sport, week-long athletic competition in the world,” was set to be played in August in Columbus, Ohio for the third time in a decade. But officials on Monday announced that because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, the games have been postponed until 2021, according to the Columbus Business Journal.
“Teamwork is important in sports and in life,” Dallas Aldridge, executive director of the GSWS Columbus host committee, said in a press release. “Although this was an extremely tough decision to postpone the event by a year, everyone involved came together and placed the safety and health of our players, umpires, fans, volunteers and committee members first.”
The Business Journal reported the Gay Softball World Series was expected to bring 5,000 participants from 25 states and Canada, more than $7 million in direct visitor spending and more than 7,000 hotel room nights used during the competition.
“We examined every possible solution to deliver a GSWS that was both fun and safe,” according to a post on the group’s website. “In the end, it just wasn’t possible.”
Columbus is looking forward to hosting the event next year, according to the report.
“The Gay Softball World Series showcases tremendous athletes and community spirit,” said Linda Logan, director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
“Welcoming the world’s largest annual gay sporting event back to Columbus speaks volumes for our capacity to be a generous host city. We value our partnership with NAGAAA and appreciate all of the efforts that went into in making this decision to move to next year.”