Denver makes bid to host Gay Games

staff photo
Beach volleyball during the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland. (Courtesy of the Federation of Gay Games.)

Beach volleyball during the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland. (Courtesy of the Federation of Gay Games.)

Denver is one of 10 cities competing to host thousands of artists and athletes during the Gay Games.

The nonprofit Team Colorado of the Rockies entered the bidding process for the 2022 Gay Games on Friday through a letter of intent, according to The Federation of Gay Games. The group has until November to put its final bidding package together.

The Federation of Gay Games will announce if Denver will be home to various sports, cultural events and ceremonies in 2018. Three finalist cities will be selected in October 2017.

Friday was the first time in the games’ 34-year history that Denver has bid to host the games, said Tony Smith, spokesman for the federation. The games are held every four years and focused “participation, inclusion, and personal best.”

Denver is competing against Dallas, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas in the U.S. as well as Cape Town, South Africa; Guadalajara, Mexico; Hong Kong; and Tel Aviv, Israel internationally.

The 2014 Gay Games held in Cleveland drew roughly 20,000 people and had a $52.1 million economic impact, according to a study by Kent State University economic professors.

Historically, Colorado hasn’t always welcomed major, costly events with open arms. In 1972, state voters turned down the opportunity to host the 1976 Olympic Winter Games, after the state won the bid in 1971.

In recent months, leaders in Denver have expressed interest in hosting other major sporting events including the 2019 NFL draft and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

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