The quest to host the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland has begun in earnest, and its bid revolves around the Rock Hall.

The games' official site selection committee is expected to arrive in Cleveland before making its way to Boston and Washington D.C. later this summer.

In Cleveland, organizers are hoping the high-visibility of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will give them the edge in attracting the Olympic-style sporting event estimated to be worth $60 million in economic impact.

Behind the city's bid is The Cleveland Synergy Foundation, which is planning a community party on Friday, July 31 on the plaza of the Rock Hall. The party, called “Frivolity,” is a free event designed to boost support for the city's bid with musical acts, including the North Coast Men's Chorus, Cleveland's highly-acclaimed gay chorus.

The bid's theme, My Games Rock!, also borrows from Cleveland's steeped history in Rock and Roll, and the Rock Hall has officially backed the bid.

But the competition to host up to 12,000 athletes competing in 28 sporting events and 100,000 spectators in the summer of 2014 is certain to get heated before the summer's over.

Boston, with its rich sports traditions and legal gay marriage, is the presumed city to beat. The District of Columbia offers huge outdoor venues and a new ordinance recognizes gay marriages performed elsewhere. City leaders say they are committed to legalizing gay marriage in the city, possibly as early as the fall.

Cleveland is the only bidding city with a state constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage, putting it at something of a disadvantage. (The city's domestic partnership registry for gay, lesbian and straight couples that opened in the spring has faced strong opposition from a group of anti-gay rights ministers despite offering no guaranteed benefits whatsoever.)

Gay Games officials, however, say their decision – likely to be announced in September 2010 – is not only about selecting the gay friendliest city.

“If we only choose the gayest cities in the United States, we've made a mistake,” Kelly Stevens, a board member in charge of communications for the Federation of Gay Games, told Spangle Magazine.

“Certainly because Cleveland is smaller, it probably has less of a global reputation in general,” Federation of Gay Games spokesman Kevin Boyer told Cleveland daily The Plain Dealer.

“But I've been very impressed with the efforts of the local organization,” he added.

Cologne, Germany is the host city of the 2010 Gay Games.