The Federation of Gay Games on Tuesday selected Chicago over Los Angeles as the prospective site for Gay Games VII in 2006. The selection comes after the federation pulled Gay Games VII from Montreal last year following a bitter dispute over the budget and size of the event. Montreal has plans to hold its own gay sporting event titled Rendezvous 2006.
In a conference call Tuesday morning, federation officials congratulated members of Chicago Games Inc., and leaders of both groups expressed excitement at the promise of a productive partnership. "Chicago Games Inc. put together an extraordinary proposal that demonstrates significant community support, a sound financial plan, and an international vision for Gay Games VII," said Kathleen Webster, federation copresident, from her home in Philadelphia. "We look forward to working closely with them to make the next Gay Games an outstanding event for all our participants."
Dennis Sneyers and Sue Connolly, Chicago Games Inc. cochairs, said in a statement, "We are thrilled to be named host for the 2006 Gay Games. Chicago's LGBT sports clubs, cultural institutions, government, and business supporters are eager to welcome the world to our beautiful city and to produce an unforgettable week of competition, cultural events, and camaraderie. With Chicago's amazing lakefront, gorgeous skyline, world-class sports facilities, strong LGBT community, and renowned sports fans, we believe there is no better place than Chicago to welcome Gay Games participants in 2006."
The bidding process included an exchange of ideas about the proposed license agreement between the federation and each of the bidding organizations, leaving the federation optimistic that contract discussions will proceed without undue delay over the next several weeks. "The Chicago team has demonstrated they understand that the Gay Games is first and foremost about the LGBT community and sports," said Roberto Mantaci, Paris-based federation copresident. "The Gay Games provides many opportunities to spotlight cultural diversity and other aspects of the host community, but a Gay Games that runs the sports well and provides a chance for every participant to do his or her personal best will be true to the founding principles of Gay Games I in 1982." The last Gay Games held in the United States took place in New York in 1994.