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Gay Games
organizers say attendance and sales exceeded expectations

Gay Games
organizers say attendance and sales exceeded expectations

The organizers of Gay Games VII, which ended in Chicago on July 22, have released preliminary estimates showing that ticket sales and attendance projections exceeded expectations. "Attendance at Gay Games Chicago events exceeded 140,000--40,000 more than we had projected," said Kevin Boyer, Gay Games Chicago co-vice chair. "We estimate that attendance at events organized by the Gay Games was 107,500, including opening and closing ceremonies, the Gay Games Expo, and all of the sports and cultural events. Official affiliated events and parties had an additional estimated attendance of 33,000 throughout the week."

The opening ceremony at Soldier Field had an estimated attendance of 32,000, while the closing ceremony at Wrigley Field had nearly 20,000 in attendance, the report shows. The four-day Gay Games Expo drew an estimated 13,250. Participating athletes and artists numbered 11,500. "Ticket sales to sports and cultural events exceeded our estimates by almost 50%," said Boyer. "While most sporting events were free, we had projected to sell 8,000 tickets to some of the more popular sports and cultural events. Ticket sales actually totaled around 12,000, with several events selling out."

The preliminary numbers are significant given that the last two Gay Games events--Amsterdam in 1998 and Sydney in 2002--lost large amounts of money. Now the Federation of Gay Games is projecting a surplus. Financial details will be released before September 30. (The Advocate)

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