Boston Spirit Magazine is crying FOUL that Cleveland Ohio may have cheated to win the hosting rights to the 2014 Gay Games by flouting the bidding rules.
Someone PLEASE call the Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance!
One area of discrepancy according to Team Boston involved the amount of sports that the FGG wanted a host city to offer. The Red Book allowed for a limit of 28 sports. Why the cap? Team Boston was told that the FGG had previously had problems with overreach in the past, leading many past Gay Games to lose money. So, although Boston planners could have and would have happily prepped for more, they played by the rules and submitted plans for 28. Cleveland? Their team proposed 40 sports, which automatically catapulted them into first place on the venue scorecard. The eventual host city snagged bonus points on martial arts, power lifting, racquet ball and rodeo, while Boston earned zeros in those events even though they could have easily found a hosting venue. The point spread? Boston earned 89, Washington D.C. 115 and Cleveland 123.
Other discrepancies according to Team Boston and Team D.C. include:
• The guidelines ask that each city’s proposed sporting venues be no more than 15 minutes apart by public transportation. Boston’s are. Cleveland’s golfing venue is over 45 miles away yet still snagged a score of “far beyond expectations.”
• The FGG says it wants long-term financial sponsors. Boston boasted nearly one million dollars more than Cleveland and DC, including money contributed by international and national companies interested in long-term partnerships. Cleveland only pledged $525,000 mostly from “local business owners.”
• Boston allegedly got unfairly low marks for their sports venues and for not having enough sports managers, while Cleveland went well over its allotted 45-minutes in their final presentation to FGG’s voting delegates.
Brent Minor, a longtime supporter of the FGG and a volunteer with Team D.C., says he wasn’t surprised that Cleveland won the bid, but he was concerned with the motivation behind the decision. “What did surprise me was the notion that bringing the Gay Games to Northeast Ohio to highlight gay-rights issues seemed to play such a significant factor to many voters,” Minor argues. “Not only does it seem to unnecessarily politicize the Gay Games movement, but I believe such thinking is too limiting. The fact is, there aren’t enough Gay Games in the world to go to every place that needs enlightenment on LGBT issues.”
“What the Federation presented to us is that they wanted to grow and build their future and host the Gay Games in a strong city,” says Linda DeMarco, president of Boston Pride and one of the many volunteers who spearheaded Team Boston’s bid for the Gay Games. “I don’t think any of us involved in the process thought that Cleveland was part of the scenario.”
When bid co-chair DeMarco and Team Boston learned that Cleveland was selected as the host city of the 2014 Gay Games—also outbidding Washington D.C.—they were shocked.
“At the end of the process, both D.C. and Boston said to each other that we thought we would lose to you,” remarks sports committee member Marc Davino, adding that it was Boston’s big-city attributes with its small-city charm that the group thought would win over the Federation.
“We took what a volunteer does and developed so much passion for it and to be shot down in this way is heartbreaking. We’re still emotionally distressed over this,” adds DeMarco. “We did this because it was important to our community and we know how to do it in Boston.”
Perhaps it’s all just sour grapes, a bad call, or indeed favortism. But I’d like to remind both Boston and Washington, D.C. that we have much more dire and pressing issues to worry about like hmmmmmmm, Equal Rights perhaps?
And when all is said and done, it’s all just some gay games.