Limerick along with Amsterdam, London, Paris & Orlando all submitted Bid Books to the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) on Thursday February 28th.
The Bid Book which has been in preparation since late 2012 outlines how the Limerick 2018 Bid Group will deliver the 32 sporting events and multi-cultural festival should the Riverside City be selected to host the games.
Press & Communications Director of Limerick 2018, Cillian Flynn said “After months of planning and preparing last Thursday was a day that all involved in the bid will never forget. We are proud and delighted with the Bid Book that we have submitted and believe that should we be successful we will not just put Limerick & The Shannon Region on the Map but we will showcase the entire island of Ireland as a welcome and open country that will embrace the 2018 Gay Games. While it looks like we are up against stiff competition from the other bidding cities we believe that Limerick has the facilities, the infrastructure, the desire and determination to be successful in the bidding process and deliver an event that Limerick has never seen before.”
If successful the 2018 Gay Games will attract in excess of 10,000 participants and approximately 15,000 spectators to Limerick and the surrounding areas in August of 2018. The University of Limerick will be transformed into The Gay Games Village where the majority of events will take place, along with a media and hospitality centre.
Officer for Site Selection with the FGG, Dennis Sneyers expressed the Federation’s pleasure at these submissions: “Bidding is an intensive and costly process, mobilizing dozens of volunteers in each bidding city. We began this process with over twenty expressions of interest. Groups from seven cities submitted letters of intent to bid. Five responded to our Request for Proposals. Now all five groups have completed this most recent major step on the road to Cleveland where our site selection meeting will be held”
The next International Gay games will take place in Cleveland, Ohio in 2014 and Cleveland will host the announcement ceremony for the successful city in October of this year. Ireland has been represented well at the last Gay games in Cologne 2010 where in excess of 100 competitors were register from Ireland and Team Cork taking home 27 medals. Already some participants have registered their interest in representing Ireland in next year’s games.
Limerick’s bid has already received some positive news in the form of Boxing & Wheel Chair Rugby been accepted as new sports to the Gay Games. These two new sports are unique to Limerick and open up the 2018 to become all inclusive where anybody can take part regardless of Ability, Gender or Sexual Orientation.
Sneyers concluded: “I’ve got to say that given the demands put on potential bidders, we are surprised that all five organizations that submitted letters of intent have followed through with what appear to be excellent bid books. We’re all very eager to look at these documents, with a total of nearly 1000 pages of information, and will be providing a summary of key points in the coming days.
Limerick’s bid has received support from Shannon Development, Failte Ireland, Shannon Region Conference & Sports Bureau, University of Limerick & University Arena, Limerick City Council, Shannon Airport, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, The Red Ribbon Project and Annalog Devices.
About The Gay Games:
The Gay Games are an international sporting and cultural event held every four years. Launched in 1982, the Games invite participation from all competitors regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status. The Games also offer a safe environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered participants. They are open to anyone 18 years or older. About 10 percent of participants are from outside the LGBT community.
Gay Games 9 will be held August 9-16, 2014, in venues around Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, in the United States. More than 35 sports and culture event competitions will be held, with more than 11,000 participants expected to join the medal race.