Cleveland’s LGBT community might just have another reason to cheer in 2014. The non-profit Cleveland Synergy Foundation announced it is leading Cleveland’s bid to host the 2014 Gay Games.
Gay Games, started in San Francisco in 1980 by Tom Waddell, is the world’s largest sporting and cultural event for LGBT communities. According to the Federation of Gay Games Web site, the event is built on participation, inclusion and personal best through thousands of LGBT athletes and artists with fellowship and friendly competition.
The international event can generate more than $60 million for the local economy. And Cleveland wants a piece of this.
The Cleveland Synergy Foundation announced Sept. 14 it has gained significant financial support from the city of Cleveland and Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson requested Cleveland City Council unanimously pass ordinance #1260-09 to provide a $700,000 grant. This grant would be dispersed if Cleveland wins the bid.
“We’re showing in good faith that we want to bring the Gay Games here and are willing to put up some cash,” Tracey Nichols, City of Cleveland economic development director, told council members at the finance committee meeting. “We need to show that this is a strong commitment.”
An additional $1.3 million is to be donated in in-kind forms from the city of Cleveland in venues and police and general support.
The Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau marked its strong support by already pledging $100,000 for event marketing and promotion.
Cleveland Synergy Foundation, City of Cleveland representatives, Positively Cleveland, Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, Fleishman-Hilliard and other corporate partners will make a final presentation in Cologne, Germany on Sept. 28 to host the 2014 Gay Games. The host city will be announced on Sept. 29.
The other two national bids come from Boston and Washington, D.C.
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Visit Federation of Gay Games