Liverpool committed to making its bid to host 2030 Gay Games ‘stand out’

Liverpool’s City Council has said it’s committed to making its bid to host the 2030 Gay Games “stand out”.

The city was among those who were shortlisted this week to host the quadrennial sporting and cultural event. The week-long games are a chance for the host city to invite over 10,000 LGBTQIA+[1] participants and allies to its region.

Built upon the principles of participation, inclusion, and personal best since 1982, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) exists to promote equality in sport and culture for all.

The FGG announced the results of the first phase of bidding for the 2023 Gay Games XIII. Around 25 cities, including Liverpool, on six continents expressed an interest in bidding by submitting an official response to the FGG’s Request for Information (RFI).

Liverpool City Council’s[4] cabinet member for health, wellbeing and culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: “We’re always looking ahead to what events we can host in Liverpool and the wider city region, and we’re delighted to support LCR Pride in throwing our hat in the ring to host the Gay Games.

“We’re a city committed to embracing all communities and hosting the most successful Eurovision ever showcased how we - on a global stage - excel when it comes to fostering diversity, combining it with creativity and scouse flair. There’s a long way to go in the process, but we look forward to working with LCR Pride to ensure Liverpool’s bid stands out.”

LGBTQ+ flag flying at Liverpool Parish Church. LGBTQ+ flag flying at Liverpool Parish Church.

The Gay Games was conceived by Dr Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco. Similar to the Olympics, the event happens every four years with the next being held in Valencia in 2026.

The event represents a cultural and economic opportunity providing a significant economic impact to a region with recent studies reporting the total economic impact for Paris in 2018 was just shy of 100 million euros and Cleveland/ Akron in 2014 just over $40 million.

Andi Herring, CEO of LCR Pride Foundation, added: “Since founding LCR Pride Foundation one of our ambitions has been to host The Gay Games. Five years later, it is great to see our city region listed in the long list for the 2030 Games and we are delighted to be amongst such good company.

“Our commitment to making Liverpool City Region the most LGBT+ friendly region in the UK has gone from strength to strength in the past five years, combined with the region's rich sporting history and renowned reputation worldwide makes the city region a fitting host.”

The 25 cities that submitted expressions of interest include Melbourne and Perth in Australia, Vancouver in Canada, Frankfurt in Germany, Cape Town in South Africa and Athens in Greece. Closer to home, London and Liverpool were the only UK cities to make the shortlist. More details about the city's bid will be announced in March.

LCR Pride Foundation's CEO Andi Herring LCR Pride Foundation's CEO Andi Herring

Officer of the site selection, Austin Manning, conveyed the excitement of the FGG in receiving such emphatic early interest in hosting Gay Games XIII. He said: “This record-breaking interest for hosting the 2030 Gay Games showcases a truly global sports and culture movement with regions around the world taking the first step in bidding to host the Gay Games quadrennial event.

“As regions and countries around the world continue to take legislative and social action to protect human rights and create pathways to equality for all, the 2030 long list includes 25 cities committed to empowering, uplifting, and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community at home and abroad.”

In March 2024, each of the listed cities will receive a Request for Proposal (RFP) detailing the documentation bidders will be required to submit, covering a broad range of subjects such as sports they plan to host, facilities they plan to use, funding, organisation composition, and more.

Over the next two years, bidders will develop their plans in coordination with the FGG and its member delegates leading to the selection of the FGG presumptive host for the 2030 Gay Games XIII in November 2025 in Valencia, Spain.

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