Auckland on shortlist with Brisbane and six others for multi-million dollar Gay Games

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A good crowd turned out for the Big Gay Out in Auckland last year.

Ben Campbell / Phototek.nz/Stuff

A good crowd turned out for the Big Gay Out in Auckland last year.

Auckland and Brisbane have been shortlisted to become the host of the 2026 Gay Games along with six other cities.

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has both Australasian cities on a shortlist.

Bidding cities have to apply formally by November, with a decision on the host city made in February 2022. The Gay Games – a four-yearly sport and cultural event – are open to all.

Gay Games XI will be held in Hong Kong in 2022, the first time they have been held in Asia. Seventeen cities were interested in bidding on thst event.

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A nine-day event, the Games are estimated to inject US$100 million (NZ$152m), and the LGBTQ+ event attracts approximately 12,000 participants.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined in on the 2020 festivities along with some of her Labour Party ministers, and mayor Phil Goff.

Abigail Dougherty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined in on the 2020 festivities along with some of her Labour Party ministers, and mayor Phil Goff.

Cities chasing the 2026 Gay Games are:

  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Munich, Germany
  • San Diego, USA
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Valencia, Spain

FGG Officer of Site Selection David Killian said it was a competitive and lengthy process.

“We are grateful for all of the organisations’ hard work. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly furthering all matters of LGBTQ+ equality,” Killian said.

FGG co-president Joanie Evans was impressed with the number of cities who have bid.

“We are thrilled at both the scale and calibre of entries all vying to host our 2026 event,” Evans said.

“In this time of worldwide ‘unpredictability’, I have more faith that our message of equality in sport and culture will continue to resonate around the world.”

Stuff