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And the Gay Games Go To Cleveland


As President Obama headed to Copenhagen to woo the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, Cleveland was chosen to host the 2014 Gay Games, beating out Boston and Washington, D.C.

The Federation of Gay Games, the international body that presents the quadrennial sporting and cultural event, announced the 2014 host city from Cologne, Germany, site of the 2010 Gay Games.

"The city of Cleveland is prepared to roll out the welcome mat to the LGBT athletes, their families, and spectators from around the world," Cleveland mayor Frank G. Jackson said in a statement. "Fans of the Gay Games will find that Cleveland is a great place to celebrate sports and culture and that we have tremendous assets and amenities for them to enjoy. The sports and cultural environment here is truly a uniquely Cleveland experience, one they will cherish for years to come."

Past host cities are San Francisco (1982, 1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), and Chicago (2006).

Cleveland has committed $4.5 million to the event. The games could generate revenues of between $50 million and $80 million for the city and area businesses, a boon in an area of the country hit especially hard by difficult economic circumstances. Up to 65,000 athletes are expected to attend.

While Cleveland is the official sponsor, the nearby city of Akron will also play a significant role in the games. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, the marathon will be run in Akron, golf events will take place at Akron's Firestone Country Club, and softball games will be played at Firestone Stadium. Rodeo events will take place at the Summit County Fairgrounds in nearby Tallmadge.

The 2014 Gay Games will take place August 9-14, featuring 30 sports and four cultural events.

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