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."
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."
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