Cleveland city leaders have given their
OK to move forward with a plan to compete as host city for the 2014
The Gay Games is the brainchild of Dr.
Tom Waddell, a college football player who went on to place sixth in
the 1986 Summer Olympic's decathlon competition. The international
sporting event originally called the Gay Olympics was first held in
San Francisco during the Summer of 1982.
Cologne, Germany has been selected to
host the next event in 2010, where an estimated 15,000 athletes are
expected to participate in 28 sporting contests.
The City of Chicago, which last hosted
the event in 2006, estimates 140,000 spectators attended the event
with an overall economic impact of $50-to-$80 million. But lower
than expected participation and attendance is blamed on a last minute
change of venue. The Federation of Gay Games moved the event to
Chicago after it failed to reach agreement on several key issues with
Montreal, Canada organizers.
The Cleveland Synergy Foundation in
collaboration with the City of Cleveland and Positively Cleveland –
a gay and lesbian outreach program by the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau that markets the city to gay tourists – prepared
“Congratulations to the Cleveland
Synergy Foundation for their leadership in making Cleveland a
finalist for the 2014 Gay Games,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G.
Jackson. “Our impressive selection of non-chain restaurants,
beautiful lakefront views, world class museums and sports arenas and
the ease of mobility from one venue to the next will deiver an
experience that is uniquely Cleveland.”
Leaders with the Cleveland Synergy
Foundation will now travel to Cape Town, South Africa next week to
present their bid at the Federation of Gay Games' annual meeting.
The cities of Boston and Miami are also
competing to host the event.