The 2018 Gay Games in Paris had around 10,000 participating athletes, but numbers were down for last year's delayed event in Guadalajara and Hong Kong. | Lucas Barioulet/AFP via Getty Images

Back in January, there were 11 cities from the United States that expressed interest in hosting the Gay Games in 2030. Now, only one remains in contention.

On Thursday, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced that Denver, Colo., and nine other cities from around the world will continue through to the next stage.

Five continents are represented:

North America: Edmonton, Vancouver (both Canada); Denver (USA)

Africa: Cape Town (South Africa)

Asia: Taipei (Taiwan)

Europe: Frankfurt (Germany)

Oceania: Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth (all Australia); Auckland (New Zealand)

Each of the 10 cities has submitted an official letter of intent to bid and payment of the first bid fee, said the FGG.

The 15 cities that have now dropped out of contention are Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Honolulu, Miami, Minneapolis, Oak Creek, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle (all U.S.), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Johannesburg (South Africa), Athens (Greece), Liverpool and London (both U.K.).

For those remaining in the process, the FGG says: “These cities are now expected to submit a first version of their “bid book” — a document which describes how they aim to host the Gay Games in their city — by August 2024. 

“This document will validate that they understand and have control over the whole process of the organization and delivery of the 10-day event.

“These 10 cities will then be invited to present their bids to our extended delegation at the FGG Annual General Assembly in Washington DC in October 2024, and the three finalists will be announced in December 2024.”

Gay Games 2030 cities
The locations of the 10 cities left in the running to host the Gay Games in 2030.

The committee behind the Denver bid formally launched its candidacy in late March, with Colorado governor Jared Polis providing an endorsement.

Vancouver is the only one of the 10 cities to have staged the Gay Games before, back in 1990 for the third edition. Cleveland, Ohio, was the last U.S. city to host, in 2014.

With three cities bidding, Australia stands a strong chance of bringing the Games back to its shores. Sydney was the host city in 2002.

The last edition of the Gay Games was held jointly in Hong Kong and Guadalajara, Mexico. Valencia, Spain, is set to host in 2026 — among the bids it defeated in the final shortlist stage for that cycle were Taipei and Auckland.

The latter is New Zealand’s most populous city and recently put on the inaugural Rainbow Games, a four-day event featuring 12 different sports.